Unemployment web site frustrates benefits seekers - WFLA News Channel 8

Unemployment web site frustrates benefits seekers

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The new 63 million dollar system set up to handle Florida unemployment claims is turning out to be like the "Affordable Care Act" website. It’s full of bugs, glitches and foul-ups.

Watch related story: Floridians having problems with unemployment system

Doug Richardson's plight is one of dozens who contacted 8 On Your Side to explain his frustration with the system.

A week later, he's still without a check and he may have to wait two more weeks to see any money. I would much rather go find a job and everything. I'm doing as much as I can on that, this is the first time I ever applied for this type of assistance but I really need it,” said Richardson.

Ironically, Richardson spent 20 years designing websites and says the state's system, called "Connect" is poorly executed. “They did not return two emails to me and they did not give any way to leave a message that you were trying to reach em by phone,” he said.

It's gotten so bad; Senator Bill Nelson wants the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate.

Related story: Senator Nelson asks for federal investigation into unemployment system

And adding insult to injury, the governor's office mistakenly included hundreds private email addresses in a reply sent to those who complained about the system.

The Governor's own state email in-box is flooded with complaints about that goof up, and the problems with the unemployment web site.

A spokesperson at the Department of Economic Opportunity says some issues are fixed, and its working around the clock to get other problems repaired.

Not a moment too soon for Doug Richardson. His cell phone bill is due and others will follow.

The disconnect at the state's "Connect" system is making many wonder just how long they can hold on.

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