ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Floridians have faced their share of unemployment woes since the coronavirus pandemic began. Now, this weekend those with existing claims will face one more as the CONNECT site goes offline for the second weekend in a row.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said the site will be down until 8 a.m. on May 4.
The reason? According to the DEO, it's to help "process claims and making payments over the weekend."
But, for some, the downed site will not affect their ability to file for unemployment.
Anyone looking to file a new claim or who qualifies as an independent contractor, or is self-employed will still be able to reach the site, according to the DEO.
Those filing new claims can do so here.
Those who are self-employed can file for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program assistance here.
The DEO acknowledges the impact the issues and changes are having on the public writing, "DEO recognizes that Floridians have had a hard time applying for Reemployment Assistance due to no fault of their own."
And issues with Florida's unemployment system are not new.
They actually stem back to 2013 when the CONNECT site launched for the first time.
10News dug into the archives and found people were already complaining years ago of system failures, technological glitches and hours spent trying to talk to someone on the phone.
Even Gov. Ron DeSantis has been vocal about his disappointment in the operation of the state's unemployment system on Friday -- calling for an investigation into the failures of the system during such a critical time.
As of Friday the DEO says it has verified 960,410 unique claims and paid 426,623 claimants a total of more than $598.8 million.
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