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Many Floridians start week with more unemployment delays

After the state's unemployment site went offline over the weekend for maintenance, many woke up to errors and delays.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The state's website, CONNECT, designed to accept jobless claims was shut down for maintenance over the weekend.

It was back up and running Monday but many are voicing frustration over more errors and delays.

Tim Biondollo, a bartender at Sea Dog Brew Pub in Treasure Island is an administrator in a Facebook group with about 10,000 people called FL Unemployment Problems Covid-19.

Biondollo said about 60 percent of the complaints on Monday were of people getting an ineligible status.

"They might say ineligible but there’s no other information as to why," Biondollo said.

RELATED: Florida's unemployment website working again after going offline

He received a notice in the mail that there were problems with his claim but he couldn't get through to talk to anyone. Biondollo said he had called 112 times by lunchtime since the website was back up Monday morning.

"There’s too many people in line and they have no call back right now so it just hangs up on you," he said.

Nancy Flannery, a massage therapist in Pinellas County applied for unemployment on March 25. She, too, woke up to an ineligible status Monday morning.

"I’ve been looking online to try to figure out what to do next and the only thing I think is reapply again," Flannery said.

  • 824,279 have been confirmed to be unique, meaning some people end up filing the same claim multiple times.
  • 610,152 – 74 percent – have been submitted
  • 209,713 – 25.4 percent – have been paid.
  • 169,520 more people got their money since the week before.

In a briefing Monday morning at Tampa General Hospital, Gov. Ron DeSantis admitted there are architectural problems with the unemployment site.

“My number one concern outside of health is to get the checks out. So, we’re putting 100 percent of effort on this," DeSantis said.

RELATED: Florida ranks among the lowest in the nation for unemployment benefits

A spokesperson with the Department of Economic Opportunity said in an e-mail:

This weekend, we made significant progress in processing claims so that individuals across the state could get paid their Reemployment Assistance benefits. Last week, the department paid almost $412 million to Floridians, which is an increase of almost 600% over the week. You can also view our latest press release here.

During this process, many individuals were deemed ineligible for state Reemployment Assistance benefits. There are numerous reasons someone could be deemed not eligible for state Reemployment Assistance benefits, including wage base period issues, lack of wage history, among others. You can review the Reemployment Assistance Handbook here, which has examples of why individuals could be deemed ineligible. Each person deemed not eligible for state Reemployment Assistance receives a notification regarding their eligibility.

Many of the individuals that were deemed ineligible this weekend could be eligible for federal benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The agency is working diligently to get more detailed information to individuals who may be eligible for federal benefits. This week, individuals will be able to log-in to CONNECT and complete the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program after they were deemed ineligible for state Reemployment Assistance benefits.

RELATED: Floridians participate in virtual rally to protest unemployment system

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