Statement from Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on NELP Report

Apr 18, 2018

The following statement can be attributed to Tiffany Vause, Director of Communications for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

"NELP needs to get their facts straight instead of using fuzzy math to push a false narrative. This report is invalid and filled with inaccurate generalizations and conclusions. The NELP report uses statements of opinions as fact, is misleading and does not paint an accurate picture of disaster recovery in Florida. It is also irresponsible for NELP to compare Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey - two very different storms with vastly different impacts.

NELP cites a federal report that summarizes claims filed since February but the end date to claim disaster unemployment assistance in Florida was March 17, 2018, therefore NELP left out critical information regarding the number of DUA claimants and those who received benefits.

DEO went above and beyond to ensure that families impacted by Hurricane Irma were treated fairly and got the assistance that they deserved. This includes extending the deadline for DUA twice while aggressively advertising this assistance and we also worked directly with legal aid offices during the storm.

What NELP doesn’t want to mention is that thanks to Florida’s booming economy in our state’s robust response to Hurricane Irma, Florida was able to recover quickly – meaning more families getting back to work faster and not needing to file for reemployment assistance.

In September 2017, Florida lost nearly 170,000 jobs due to Hurricane Irma, but regained these jobs plus more by October 2017. This is further evidence that Governor Scott’s immediate response to provide disaster recovery assistance to the private sector community and Florida’s strong resilient economy was able to bounce back and Floridians were able to get back to work."

About DEO

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts. This new approach helps expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit


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