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Unemployed Floridians having trouble with new Connect system

8:07 PM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Thousands of Floridians are still having trouble accessing the state's unemployment system.

Unemployed "Confusion, you're dependent on your unemployment you know to pay bills, I have a home, etc and then where do I go?" said David Weed.

Weed is one of thousands of frustrated Floridians trying to reach the Department of Economic Opportunity's call center in Tallahassee. He was laid off from work earlier in the year after working 9 years with the construction equipment company.

"For me, you have to look at every situation that happens in life as a gift as another change."

While Weed has been looking for another job, he's been working on home improvements, helping others with repairs they need in their homes and claiming his unemployment. But the new Connect system that processes claims for unemployment has caused some chaos.

Four hundred phones lines and 150 operators have been added to the DEO call center to take care of concerned callers who can't access their unemployment benefits.

"For those who still are having trouble, we are acutely aware of their situation. We are frustrated like they are and we are trying to get the answers," said Jesse Panuccio, DEO Executive Director

The DEO said technicians are working around the clock to solve the problems.

Weed said even when it is fixed, the state needs to continue working on the bigger picture.

"The key is going to be turn back depression 2.0 and bring back jobs," he said.

First Coast News

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