Floridians still struggling to file for unemployment despite website fixes

State / Regional

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Floridians are continuing to experience issues with the state’s beleaguered unemployment website.

The website was scheduled to go back online at 8 a.m., but a number of people tell News Channel 8 they’re still unable to file for unemployment.

The site was shut down over the weekend while the state processed a large backlog of unemployment benefit claims.

Florida is reportedly among the slowest states when it comes to processing unemployment claims.

The CONNECT system has been overwhelmed due to layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic, often kicking applicants out, crashing, and not allowing users to submit claims.

According to an Associated Press analysis published last week, nearly 7 of every 8 Floridians who managed to file claims during the three weeks from mid-March until early April were waiting to have them processed.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state hired 1,000 employees and added about 100 servers to keep up with demand. The DEO also created a new, mobile-friendly website in early April for new applicants to file claims online. They also introduced paper applications. But 8 On Your Side discovered that’s also causing issues and confusion.

According to the DEO’s new claims dashboard website, there have been 1,818,594 claims submitted since March 15. Only 218,935 claims have been processed and just 153,788 applicants have been paid.

DeSantis is scheduled to hold a press conference in Tampa on Monday and is expected to address unemployment questions along and discuss how he plans to reopen Florida businesses.

You can watch the press conference live on WFLA.com at 11:30 a.m.

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