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Bill Nelson asks - again - if feds can investigate Florida's unemployment website

@mikevansickler

Concerned by continuous media reports about the botched debut of Florida’s $63 million unemployment benefits website,U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Tuesday repeated his request that federal officials investigate and, if necessary, intervene.

“Any continued problems in processing unemployment claims only delays financial help to those who need it most due to misfortune,” Nelson said in a letter to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez. “I would appreciate hearing back to you by Jan. 14.”

Nelson first asked Perez to investigate Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity’s Oct. 15 launch of the CONNECT web on Oct. 30. By then, thousands of recipients complained they couldn’t log on or contact DEO employees for help.

In Tuesday’s letter, Nelson says Perez told him then that the DEO promised that the website’s unresolved issues would be “fixed and the system stabilized by mid-to-late December.”

“You also noted, ‘should we learn any additional information suggesting that Florida’s issues are not being resolved, we will work with DEO to ensure the state is employing methods of administration that result in unemployment benefits being paid when due,’” Nelson said in the letter.

But he said recent reports in the Times/Herald and Tuesday’s front page story in the New York Times led him to conclude the problems are not resolved.

“In light of these reports, I now request that you look further into whether the state is doing everything it can to meet the needs of all Floridians eligible to receive unemployment benefits in a timely manner,” Nelson said.

Nelson said he questions whether the DEO is in violation of the Social Security Act by not providing “full payment of unemployment compensation when due.”

If Florida is found in violation, Nelson asked Perez to determine what actions the federal government can take to “ensure timely payment of claims due Floridians.”

Comments

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ed jenkins

Once again the citizens have expressed that they do not have any interest in a cash disbursement website for their neighbors who wish to mooch off their hard working fellow citizens. The generous people of Florida have charities for those truly in need and by truly in need they do not mean those that spend large amounts of money on extravagant meals, luxury cars and homes or even worse illegal drugs.

If this Nelson really wants to do the state a service he could run for governor giving us democrat primary voters a legitimate choice for governor rather than the scumbag crist and would clearly win even with his early signs of dementia and occasional confusion.

Diane

The last thing this country needs is another liberal that takes advatnage of captialism, yet, thinks the rest of us should be satisfied with crumbs. But, I do agree that the unemployment website is a nightmare. It took me a trip to Workforce to learn that my application was submitted but not active.

Tracy

I mr. jenkins do not mooch. I have worked since the age of 13 and most of my employment history is long term. Before I moved to Florida, I was employed with the same employer for almost ten years.

I was laid off from my position in November because my decided to out source our jobs to a contract company. Some of my co-workers had been at the company for 15 years. I have filed for unemployment benefits, because I am entitled to them. I have applied for numerous positions. I am awaiting a decision from the department of Economic Security for my benefits. I can't get through when I call, it just disconnects me. Meanwhile, I have bills to pay, groceries to buy and I can't.

Kristina

I do not mooch. I came to Florida for a job with a promise of long term employment. Just a week after celebrating my first year anniversary with my company they announced they would be closing and moving to India. Now I have no money for food, gas, nothing. I'm borrowing from my single mother and had to close out my IRA to pay for bills and it's still not enough.

So don't tell me that I'm a moocher. I didn't ask for my job to be sent to India. I'm doing my share by applying for my five job minimum a week and going well above the requirement. What is the state doing for me? It hasn't kept its end in the bargain but I'm supposed to continue to do my work.

I hope your sake that you do not ever need unemployment services. This is my first time and hopefully my last time. Think about where you would be if you lost all your income with no notice.

Jacqaline Deemer

on

On Oct.15th I had a phone hearing concerning overpayment of benefits. I sent all the required proof of income prior to the date. the appeal hearing was made my referee was Shavon Nelson I was told a determination would be sent within 14 days. I never received it. My benefits are on hold stating a determination is still pending.Because phone calls are useless I have faxed letters to numerous numbers,several to Deputy Clerks and appeals offices my letter also have gone unanswered. this is ridiculous I have no doubt that something as misplaced and when or if I finally get to the bottom of this how about they pay me interest on all the weeks that were held because of there incompatense!!!

Steph

For those of you who are having issues reaching unemployment and resolving your claims issues, call the Department of Labor and open a case with them
1-866-487-2365 (I had my issue resolved within a week vs 2+ months through normal means). I had to resort to that after numerous calls to unemployment to no avail and different information each time I called. I found the best time to contact unemployment is at 8AM when they open, you will be on hold for a while but you do usually get through. And for Mr. Jenkins who believe we are "moochers", get a life. There's no way we would
deal with this crap if there was no need.

ed jenkins

As we have seen some have no shame and have no problem going to collect the money confiscated from their hardworking neighbors claiming they are "benefits" and they entitled to these welfare payments. Charities exist for those truly in need because they are truly in need as has been stated before but poor budgeting including not setting up a rainy day fund for job losses as well as spending on extravagant meals, luxury cars or houses or even worse illegal drugs does not qualify as unfortunate.

Tracy

Mr Jenkins.........you are a dick

Angela

The system is not fixed, the Florida government officials who know there is another way, are withholding our money which is illegal and the people at the top are doing nothing to get our money into our hands. I have 10 weeks of money sitting in the system, having received the adjudication to allocate the funds to me and have received no payments to date. Class action attorney's should be contacting those of us that are having to suffer through this waiting.

Helpless in Florida

The Florida Government is so behind on their Unemployment website. My husband has been on unemployment now for 6 months, we have received only one check so far. The website is so slow and outdated. Don't bother calling their office, you stay on hold for hours. So sad to be going through this.

kathy

my husband and myself both got laid off Sept. 4 His benefits have been exhausted and i will only get one week in Feb and mine will be exhausted. i am very stressed and not really sure what to do next i dont want to be homeless

Ed Speanburgh

It seems Ed Jenkins is not familiar how unemployment taxes works. Your so called generous neighbors do not in fact pay one dime into UI. You and your generous neighbors can now climb off your high horses. As a business owner in Florida for 14 yrs, I pay their taxes so they can have a few dollars to spend for gas and phone calls and car ins. to look for work. In the construction business things slow down, that's the nature of the business, I want my employees to comeback when we have more work. I resent you mr Jenkins because i have never had the opportunity to meet such an ignorant person as yourself.

Anna

Thank you steph!
I called The Dept of Labor and spoke to a rep right away!I have been calling and emailing unemployment and of course they just hang up on you and I have not been contacted back for weeks!I am so poor and was laid off from a large company a few months ago. Its very frustrating because I don't have any money to travel to interviews. I basically call jobs to see if they are hiring. I am a hard worker and when you need the help.....its basically your job to try and get in touch with anyone.

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