Florida’s newly unemployed couldn’t apply for benefits for the last week, and when a new system launched this week, bumps required some people to spend hours trying to sign up.
Reemployment assistance call centers across Florida were experiencing heavy call volume as the new CONNECT unemployment claims system went online.
The 63-million dollar system is a complete overhaul of the former system which had been in place for more than 30 years. Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Jesse Panuccio acknowledges glitches with the new system, but says overall it’s been a successful start.
“The numbers overall shows a system that is working and that is allowing people through.”
Even though more than 300 new lines were added to accommodate questions about the new system – many Floridians who are unemployed say they’ve experienced one problem after another.
“It kept kicking things out, kept telling you to refer to this and when you refer to it then you call and when you call you put on hold.”
“The first day the new system saw nearly 65-hundred more claims filed than on a normal day. On top of that – more than 14-thousand callers looking for help were reported at the call centers.”
“We’re trying to work with everybody and we appreciate the feedback. It actually helped quite a bit to see people posting common error problems they were having and we could fix them more quickly.”
Many unemployed say they hope the kinks are worked out soon, so they can get the services they need.
“You pray for a job. Until you get that job you depend on that for survival. And right now, its very important to me and my family.”
Around 235-thousand Floridians receive unemployment benefits.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity says they will work diligently to solve any problems that arise; adding it may take several days to get everything taken care of.