By: Mike Vasilinda
October 16, 2013
Reemployment assistance call centers across Florida were experiencing heavy call volume as the new CONNECT unemployment claims system went online. The Call center said ,“that systems more user friendly.”
The 63 million dollar system is a complete overhaul of the former system which had been in place for more than 30 years. Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Jesse Panuccio acknowledges glitches with the new system, but says overall it’s been a successful start. “The numbers overall shows a system that is working and that is allowing people through,” says Jesse Panuccio/ Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Even though more than 300 new lines were added to accommodate questions about the new system – many Floridians who are unemployed say they’ve experienced one problem after another. “It kept kicking things out, kept telling you to refer to this and when you refer to it then you call and when you call you put on hold,” says Loronye Haynes/Filing for unemployment assistance.
The first day the new system saw nearly 6,500 more claims filed than on a normal day. On top of that – more than 14,000 callers looking for help were reported at the call centers. “We’re trying to work with everybody and we appreciate the feedback. It actually helped quite a bit to see people posting common error problems they were having and we could fix them more quickly,” says Jesse Panuccio/ Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Many unemployed say they hope the kinks are worked out soon, so they can get the services they need. “You pray for a job. Until you get that job you depend on that for survival. And right now, it’s very important to me and my family,” says Loronye Haynes/Filing for unemployment assistance.
Around 235,000 Floridians receive unemployment benefits.