News
5:44 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Senator Says Florida's Troubled Unemployment System May Violate Federal Law

Florida's new unemployment benefits system, CONNECT, was supposed to provide convenience and better service. Instead, many applicants are going weeks, even months, without unemployment checks.
Florida's new unemployment benefits system, CONNECT, was supposed to provide convenience and better service. Instead, many applicants are going weeks, even months, without unemployment checks.
Credit floridajobs.org

The trouble with Florida’s revamped unemployment website is getting more attention in Washington. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is again calling for a federal investigation.

More than 200,000 jobless Floridians use the website to file for weekly benefits worth up to $275.

The new website debuted in mid-October after the state spent four years and $63 million upgrading equipment.

But technical glitches are leaving thousands of claims unprocessed.

Sen. Bill Nelson has asked the U.S. Labor Secretary to make sure the state is doing everything it can to correct the problems.

He’s also questioning whether the state is violating the federal Social Security Act because applicants aren’t getting their benefits on time.

Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity is hiring hundreds of additional workers to help process claims.

It’s also imposed a $15-thousand a day fine since late last month against the Minnesota-based consulting firm that upgraded the system, known as CONNECT.

Deloitte Consulting says its work is done, and the new system is performing better than the old one.

But the state says the fine will be in place until the contractor delivers a fully functioning system.