TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – For the second weekend in a row, Florida’s CONNECT unemployment system will be taken offline.
8 On Your Side’s Victoria Price confirmed with the Department of Economic Opportunity CONNECT will be offline so staff can process more unemployment claims.
CONNECT is used to pay claims for reemployment assistance. It also allows applicants to track claims that have been made.
A DEO spokesperson confirmed the site would be down until 8 a.m. Monday. It’s not clear yet what time the system will be taken offline Friday.
This is the second weekend in a row the site is being taken offline. Last week, DEO officials made the decision to shut CONNECT down to the public for the weekend to help process claims faster.
The CONNECT system used to be where temporarily unemployed workers could apply for weekly benefits. But the system was overwhelmed by the skyrocketing number of claims that came in as the coronavirus pandemic started forcing people out of work. After weeks of outrage from the system kicking applicants out, crashing and not allowing users to submit claims, the DEO created a new, mobile-friendly website in early April for new applicants to file claims online.
A DEO spokesperson says CONNECT no longer allows users to create a login – that must be done through the new site. Users who already have a login to CONNECT can continue to use it – but they will not be able to access it this weekend while it’s shut down.