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Unemployed West Boca Raton woman says state unable to verify her identity for 3 weeks

State launches site to verify ID of claimants
Ilene Ratner
Posted at 4:41 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 20:42:56-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Workers continue to voice their concerns about trouble claiming unemployment benefits while others are repeatedly getting kicked out of the state's website.

A West Boca Raton woman said her application was received by the state, but her CONNECT account says it is unable to verify her identity.

“I’d be on the phone for 45 minutes, and then they’d come on with a their little message, high volume [saying] ‘thank you for calling.' [I was] disconnected, then I would try again,” said Ilene Ratner.

She is not alone.

People have been voicing their complaints on Twitter to try and communicate with Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity.

For the last three weeks, Ratner said the status of her CONNECT account is pending because they can’t verify her identity.

“[The message from the state says] 'unable to authenticate your identity. There is no action required from you,'" said Ratner.

West Boca Raton resident Ilene Ratner received a message from the state saying they were unable to authenticate her identify.
West Boca Raton resident Ilene Ratner received a message from the state saying they were unable to authenticate her identify.

"No action required" is the notice she received, but waiting doesn’t stop the bills. So, Ratner started calling 1-833-FL-APPLY to try and expedite the verification.

“I told her the situation. I told her, 'I’m trying to find out what I need to do to help you authenticate who I am, my identity,' and she apologized left and right. They’re so backlogged. She said that that’s what seems to be the most common question that everybody is asking, and she couldn’t give me an answer where to call next, who to call next or how to go about clearing this up. They don’t know,” said Ratner.

The DEO said it is working with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and said this week they launched a website to verify the identity of claimants who have been locked out of their CONNECT account.

They say a direct link to verify their information will be emailed from
donotreplyreemploymentassistance@deo.myflorida.com.

“It’s extremely frustrating because they keep saying there’s nothing I can do about it. They’re going to let me know, they’re going to let me know. How long is it going to take them to let me know?” said Ratner.