ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) – State numbers show more than 1.2 million Floridians have filed for unemployment benefits but a little less than 500,000 have received any money.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has often stuck much of the blame on the reemployment website that came online during Sen. Rick Scott’s time as governor and the company that built it, Deloitte.
“We’ve now launched an investigation about how this was acquired and all the money spent. That was before I was governor, this was in like 2011 through 2016,” DeSantis said. “There’s a lot of problems with it.”
Deloitte, however, is pushing back.
A company spokesman sent WESH 2 News, our NBC sister station in Orlando, this following statement:
“We built the Connect system to comply with Florida’s specific requirements and the state accepted the system.”
It says Deloitte’s work on the site finished in 2015 and it had been performing well then but since Deloitte has not worked on Connect in five years, they do not know how, or even if, the technology has been maintained.
Many people have gone weeks without benefits or income and some are even starting to go back to work.
One man even said he’s been trying to get the state to stop paying him but can’t find a way on Connect to cut it off.
“Tomorrow I’m going to have a direct deposit of three weeks worth of benefits that I did not earn. And obviously it’s got to go back somewhere to the state of Florida. That’s not my money,” James Callan said.
The Department of Economic Opportunity said those who are starting to work again should call them at 1-833-FL-APPLY and should void any paper check they get from DEO and send it back.
They have not said what to do if it is a direct deposit.
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