JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Vanessa Austin has been trying to file an unemployment claim for days.
"So far, she's spent more than 15 hours making desperate calls for help."
"We stayed on hold for three hours yesterday and no one ever came to the phone. "
For Austin, and thousands of others, the state's new website to distribute vital benefits isn't working, and it's a $63 million problem.
CONNECT was launched two weeks ago by the Department of Economic Opportunity, and it's filled with technical issues.
"They ought to be responsible for setting up a faulty website," said Sen. Bill Nelson on Friday.
Nelson is now calling for a federal investigation, to push the Department of Economic Opportunity to fix the issues now. If they don't, he says, the state's economy could take a devastating blow.
"We're trying to resuscitate the economy. Get us back where this economic engine is moving again. It's inexcusable."
A DEO spokesman tells Action News they're working around the clock with designers to correct the issues. On Friday afternoon, a spokesperson announced the two biggest issues - logging in and broken links to claim weeks - should be fixed by Monday.
When we met Austin, she still couldn't log in.
"How can we proceed and submit this claim by the deadline? We don't know."
If she doesn't, she said her family will suffer.
"We'll have no money for groceries and no rent pay. Something needs to be done."
The DOE said it will also extend phone bank hours to keep hold times down, and that they will work with those who are having trouble paying their bills as a result of the website glitches.