Frustrations grow with Florida unemployment system not working

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website
Posted at 3:42 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 23:03:00-04

We continue to hear more problems from people who cannot file for unemployment with the state of Florida.

More than 111,000 people have already filed for unemployment in Florida since the first cases of coronavirus started.

Many people are saying they are having issues with the process and can't get through the state’s website or phone system.

David Goodman is a local musician who has played for restaurants and bars for the past 50 years.

He said he was forced to apply for unemployment benefits because of the coronavirus closing all the places that employ him.

Goodman tried to apply on the state’s website, but every attempt brought him back to the same page, "I gave up after about 3 to 4 tries and this morning it didn't recognize my claim and ID number."

Michael Pine said he was stuck in the same loop, "I tried to do it again, every time I get to the second or third page it brings me back to the homepage again."

Both men said they have tried calling and couldn't reach anyone.

"I called right at 7:30, got a busy signal. 3 or 4 times I got a ring, (it) rang about 10 times and went to a busy signal," Goodman said.

Congresswoman Lois Frankel said the state has hired more workers, but it will take time to fix a broken system.

"We recognize it is chaotic and I can tell you many of us are working to try and get it fixed," she said.

CONNECT said it is undergoing routine maintenance and will be available Tuesday at 11:30 p.m.

Congressman Ted Deutch said money is coming at the federal level and now is the time to help if money is tight.

"We are all in this together, people should not hesitate to reach out to their landlords and banks to recognize what is coming," Deutch said.