Florida’s flawed unemployment website goes down again Thursday

Florida Unemployment

Florida’s Department of Employment Opportunity has been under fire for failing to pay unemployment claims.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Those needing unemployment assistance in Florida had to wait a little longer on Thursday after the website went down.

The Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity tweeted that the website was experiencing outages Thursday morning. About two hours later, they tweeted that those needing to access their Reemployment Assistance claim would be able to log on.

For more than a year, Floridians waiting for benefits have been fed up with the state’s unemployment system. After losing their jobs during the pandemic, thousands who applied for benefits were forced to deal with computer crashes, glitches and clogged phone lines, and emails gone unanswered.

A state investigation into the problem found the system was not properly designed or tested and was not responsive during the crisis. According to the report, the primary vendor, Deloitte, had only tested the system for 4,200 users. It was supposed to accommodate 200,000.

State Representative Anna Eskamani, a Democrat serving Florida’s 47th District, told 8 On Your Side’s Mahsa Saedi that the DEO now wants millions for a new system that employs cloud-based technology to meet a high demand.

Florida Senator Aaron Bean, a Republican representing the 4th District is sponsoring  SB 1948, which if passed, would upgrade the system. The changes would cost an estimated $73 million over the next two years and as much as $244 million over the next five years. 

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