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CONNECT continues to disappoint Florida’s unemployed by kicking people off and crashing

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 20:08:55-04

TAMPA, Fla — CONNECT continues to disappoint Florida's unemployed.

“Tell me about what you’ve been experiencing,” reporter Heather Leigh asked. “It’s impossible, I just took a video of it,” said Deborah Asuncion.

Asuncion, just like so many others, has been unable to get into their accounts because they can’t even get into the site.

“You sign in and it takes you right back to that first page over and over and over,” she said.

This is the second day she’s tried logging in to claim her weeks and that’s a problem heading into a Holiday weekend — she fears if she can’t do it Friday, she’ll have to wait until next week for her money.

“My check would’ve been here today, had I been able to claim yesterday,” she said.

“This has been horrifyingly a bad week for unemployment claims,” said State Representative Anna Eskamani out of District 47.

She says yesterday her office received about 200 voicemails about locked accounts and getting kicked off the site. Overnight into Friday another 35 calls.

“We’ve been inundated.”

Thursday, the new 2021-2022 budget kicked in and Eskamani spoke to the DEO about WHEN we can expect a plan outlining a new system.

“They will not give us a timeline but they said they are going to work as fast as possible now that they have the money to officially upgrade the website,” Eskamani said.

She plans to keep tabs on that.

She says the DEO told her that process involves bidding on vendors to move the system to a cloud-based server… and she’s hopeful that will happen this month going into next. That’s good news for folks like Asuncion who can’t understand how this site is still so terrible.

There’s no reason any website should not be able to handle this, I mean call Google for God’s sake and have a conversation with them,” she said. “Every fix makes it worse. It seems to me that every fix they’ve done just makes it worse.”

We asked the DEO what’s wrong with CONNECT an they told us, “The Department has experienced an increase in volume over the last few days, which could be causing the delays in CONNECT. I will provide you with any additional information as it becomes available.”