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CONNECT becomes overwhelmed as DEO rolls out multi-factor authentication

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Posted at 3:24 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 17:49:24-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla — Claudia O’Leary anticipated trouble this morning.

“I started at 9:15 trying to login to CONNECT,” she said.

The Department of Economic Opportunity rolled out a new “multi-factor authentication” process to battle fraud and help keep claimants information safe.

But, in true CONNECT fashion, the site became overwhelmed quickly. It sent claimants to a screen with the message “too many requests.”

Yeah, I was clicking buttons and it would freeze up,” said O’Leary.

She did eventually make it through to the sign-up page. This process is something every person collecting benefits must complete before they can get back into CONNECT.

The first step is to plug in an e-mail address and create a password. The DEO will send you a verification code, which you’ll type in and it’ll take you to ID.me. You must sign in there too.

O’Leary says she had to go through the facial recognition again which she thought was odd.

I ended up having to because supposedly when I got to the ID me site it would take me directly to CONNECT. But that didn’t happen, I had to redo everything for ID me,” she said.

The DEO said it’s normal to have to reverify with ID.me after 6 months.

After that, O’Leary was back to the CONNECT site, and was able to log in. The process took about 2 hours.

“I was just a headache today. It was terrible,” she said. But she was glad she got through it.

O’Leary says she’s been trying desperately to get a job this entire year.

“Nobody has ever contacted me for an interview, or anything,” she said.

She’s looked for a part-time work from home graphic design position because her husband is ill and she worries she could get him sick.

“If I get this virus, my husband won’t make it, even though we’ve both had both shots and boosters,” she said. “I still worry about him because he’s on oxygen, he has 30% lung capacity.”

She hopes something happens for her soon. The PUA, and PEUC programs are set to end this weekend.