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Long wait times and increased traffic to CONNECT causing errors and kicking claimants out multiple times within minutes

DEO frustration
Posted at 5:17 PM, Jun 03, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla — It’s like Deja vu.

I was logged on for a total of seven minutes and was kicked off 23 times,” said Paula Brewster, who can’t claim her benefit weeks in CONNECT.

I have never waited more than 30 minutes with the little running man,” said Anais Suarez, who is also struggling with CONNECT issues.”I was still waiting for the running man so that’s 2 1/2 hours waiting and waiting.”

CONNECT continues its reputation of being overwhelmed and unable to keep up with the demands of out-of-work Floridians.

“This is testing my sanity like I’m shaking my computer,” Brewster said.

“Now that we have to actually do the work searches I am highly concerned for the next few weeks, I really really am,” said Suarez.

Folks are met with long wait times logging into CONNECT, errors popping up, and the system kicking them out before they can claim benefit weeks.

“I’m supposed to claim my weeks every other Tuesday, and it is now what Thursday, and I have yet to be able to claim my weeks for the past two weeks,” Brewster said.

Anais Suarez spent her entire Wednesday attempting to claim hers eventually getting in 30 minutes before the site went dark for the night.

“I was in tears last night,” she said. “Because I thought to myself well my mortgage company doesn’t care the DEO is having problems.”

And yet when ABC Action News asked the Department of Economic Opportunity about the issues, officials told us there was nothing wrong on their end.

ABC Action News reporter Heather Leigh took to Twitter and told the DEO to keep an eye on what people are saying. They confirmed they were monitoring the replies but they also asked for the claimant IDs for people experiencing problems.

“Everybody is having this issue, so do you want everybody’s claimant ID number?” Brewster asked.

We pressed the DEO again Thursday, “based on the comments and replies has your team been able to identify what’s causing the issues?”

An official responded and acknowledged there are higher than average wait times when users try to enter the system but wouldn’t say why.

“The uncertainty of it all has created such a stress level within me, within my family,” Suarez said.

Work search requirements just came back this week and some believe that’s what’s causing it. But, some wonder why after nightly and weekend maintenance, how the system still can’t keep up. We’ve asked the DEO that question and are waiting on a response.

Both of those women say they are looking for jobs but have come across jobs that aren’t exactly how they’re advertised online. Websites like Indeed.com have ways to report jobs that are inaccurate. Click here to report a job.