Glitches persist on Florida DEO website as state seeks permanent fix

Lawmakers earmark $70M to use massive remote data centers
Posted at 3:27 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 18:13:02-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Problems with Florida's unemployment website continue to persist a year after major issues surfaced when the coronavirus pandemic began.

Rossanna Roxann of West Palm Beach hasn't received unemployment benefits since December.

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"They're telling me it's a glitch in the system. It's an IT problem," Roxann said.

That's the answer she said she received from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, along with promises to fix it.

Rossanna Roxann, impacted by Florida DEO glitches
Rossanna Roxann says she has been without unemployment benefits since December.

"I called back again, and they told me they're working on it. It's a lot of people in the same position that I am, and they could not give me a time frame," Roxann said.

The problem appears to be connected to when the federal unemployment money under the Cares Act expired and then restarted again. The restart left Roxann in limbo.

It appears to be yet another issue with DEO's website -- a system that may soon receive sweeping improvements.

Florida lawmakers are fast-tracking a bill to spend more than $70 million to fix the site using massive remote data centers.

Alan Crowetz speaks on Florida DEO website problems, March 16, 2021
InfoStream CEO Alan Crowetz believes a cloud-based server will give the state more flexibility during times of high demand.

Alan Crowetz, CEO of InfoStream, explains those data centers, also known as the cloud, can avoid many of the problems that DEO experienced in 2020.

"If there is a demand, like there was with COVID, and demand doubles and quadruples and 10 folds, you simply expand the number of servers or the power of the servers. And when you don't need it, you bring it back down and bring your cost back down," Crowetz said.

Fortunately for Roxann, her account was unlocked Monday. Now she's hoping to get all of the payments she missed.

"The worst part is I'm not getting any answers," she said.