Florida unemployment application system to shut down overnight

Florida unemployment application system to shut down overnight

Florida’s overwhelmed unemployment system will pause overnight in an attempt to catch up on processing the massive influx of applications submitted by those out of work during the coronavirus pandemic. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reemployment application system will be unavailable from 10 p.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday. “We understand this is an enormous inconvenience, but it is necessary to increase our ability to process the many applications we are receiving,” read a DEO message released Sunday evening. Florida’s confirmed coronavirus cases are now at 12,350, with 221 deaths as of Sunday night. Central Florida has nearly 1,700 cases and 24 deaths. A record 227,000 Floridians filed for jobless benefits the last week of March, bringing last month’s total to more than 330,000 applications. Between the first and last weeks of March, there were about 42 times more people applying for unemployment in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to divert state staff and beef up call centers and technology, while many frustrated Floridians seeking assistance faced technical errors and unanswered phone lines despite calling at all hours of the day. “From my heart, I apologize for what you’re going through,” DEO executive director Ken Lawson said during a Thursday video conference call with lawmakers. Lawson said his office received 1.5 million calls in the past week, a third of them from people looking to reset their PIN to access the online application CONNECT system. Lawson recently signed a contract with technical support company Faneuil to add another 250 people to the unemployment call center, many of whom will be tasked with resetting PINs. DEO also said it made “significant” enhancements to its CONNECT system and added weekend hours to its call center, in addition to offering paper applications that applicants can now download and mail in. Coronavirus […]

Original Post www.orlandosentinel.com

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