Florida’s New Multi-Million Dollar Unemployment System Delaying Benefits to the Unemployed
We’ve had to deal with a government shutdown, a debt ceiling crisis and inefficient website dedicated to government mandated Obamacare.
And now thousands of unemployed Floridians get to experience a delay in their unemployment benefits.
Why? The state’s rollout of a new unemployment benefits system that appears to be creating more frustration for applicants than assistance.
October isn’t getting off to a great start.
New Approach to Filing for Unemployment Benefits
In an effort to make the process of filing for unemployment benefits easier and more efficient to applicants, as well as the state, Governor Rick Scott’s administration has pushed for a new unemployment benefits system – replacing their outdated 40 year-old system.
Additionally, the state has added the following to assist with the filing process,
- 360 new phone lines
- 250 additional staff
- Additional center hours
That’s a lot of back-up to ensure you get what you need.
However, despite the preparation and added costs to meet applicant needs, there have been problems resulting in many applicants becoming frustrated and unable to file claims – delaying their unemployment benefits.
A Delay In Your Unemployment Benefits
So, what are the problems?
To start, in order for the site to go live, the initial unemployment benefits system was offline for 1 week – essentially delaying your unemployment benefits by one week.
And now that it’s live? If you ask the administration, with exception to minor hiccups, the overall assessment is the site is functional and meeting the demands of thousands of applicants.
But, if you ask the applicants what the problems are, this is what you’ll hear.
- The new website is not recognizing Social Security Number and Pin codes needed for login
- Many complain of getting kicked off of the website
- Some state that they’re receiving error messages after entering the website and are unable to file their claims
- Unemployment payments are inaccurate
Many applicants have become so irate they’ve called the helpline, but have received a busy signal. The next step? They’ve gone down to the unemployment benefits office. But, after waiting hours, many have been told to contact the help number for further assistance.
Is this more efficient?
Your Unemployment Benefits Come With A Cost
But, there’s more.
This new system came with a hefty price tag of $63 million dollars – $6.4 million dollars more expensive than originally expected and10 months late.
With that price tag and wait, it’s no wonder why Floridians are frustrated.
Then there comes the politics.
In 2011, Florida made it mandatory to file for unemployment benefits online – leading to complaints to the U.S. Department of Labor regarding discrimination. Many felt that the new unemployment laws discriminated against people with disabilities and to those who may speak another language.
With all of the controversy surrounding the new unemployment benefits website, we hope that the state continues in their efforts in making the unemployment process easier for applicants, as well as trying to make the process as efficient as possible – benefiting all of those who qualify for unemployment benefits.
If you’ve found yourself wrongfully terminated, contact our office today. Our attorneys are experienced in employment law and offer the insight and support you need to get your professional life back on track.