U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is wading into Florida’s unemployment benefits swamp, calling for a federal investigation into the state’s troubled roll-out of its new $63 million claims processing system.
Nelson, a Democrat, has asked the U.S. Department of Labor to look into the state’s launch of “CONNECT,” the new system through which people seeking unemployment benefits must file their claims.
Since its debut two weeks ago, the state has been deluged by complaints from users who say the new system is not working. It will not let them enter needed information or give them access to needed pages.
Users have also been frustrated by a phone help line that has been virtually useless because it is so difficult to reach a customer service representative at the state Department of Economic Opportunity.
The state has acknowledged that some people are having problems, but it insists that the system is generally operational. It says that more than 230,000 claims have been successfully filed so far.