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Problems continue to plague Florida's unemployment benefits program

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Updated: 12/04/2013 1:41 pm
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFTV) -- Thousands of unemployed Floridians are looking for answers from Governor Rick Scott about what's being done to fix problems with the state's unemployment benefits system.  

WFTV reporter Lori Brown reached out to the governor's office with questions about the status of the program. In both cases the office sent statements that talked about job growth, but had nothing to do with unemployment benefits or a plan to solve the problems.

One unemployed resident said his problem is receiving too much mail from the re-employment office and no benefits. When Howard Parsons went to his mailbox a few days ago, it was stuffed with not two or three letters from the department, but 23.

"When I first saw all of the envelopes I had no idea what was going on," Parsons said.

Each letter was exactly the same.

"Just to me alone the postage was $8.83... just to me," Parsons said.

If the mistake was repeated with just a fraction of the people on unemployment, the cost would be more than $1 million.

"To see them wasting enough money to help several thousand people, it really gets frustrating," Parsons said.

Scott's name is at the top of each letter. But so far he's been silent on the problems plaguing Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity. Since the department launched a new $63 million website, thousands have struggled to submit claims.

Unemployed residents have been flooding the call center, making it nearly impossible to reach a live person.

Parsons, who is a former information technology manager, said the system error that caused this likely sent out a similar stack of mail to many others.

"I'm willing to bet I'm one of hundreds, if not thousands, of people this has happened to," Parsons said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Economic Opportunity said they're looking into what caused the problem, but it does not appear to be widespread.
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bmangus - 1/29/2014 11:41 AM
0 Votes
I was laid off on 1/12/14. I applied for unemployment beneifts, and their NEW and IMPROVED system pulled in Employees from the old system, and this is causing me an adjudication to be done on my lay off. I should not have an adjudication, as I was laid off. They brought 2 employers in from the old system that I already won an adjudication on in 2012. By the time I received my benefits I was already working again. Now that I am laid off AGAIN in 2014, I have claimed two weeks of pay and its on hold due to something that has already been resolved with a hearing that I won. This is unreal. You can't reach them, and then when you do, they say they are fixing it but then it doesn't get fixed. I have to pay rent, feed my family and I don't qualify for food stamps, so this is unreal that the Government's mistake and issues with their computer system is causing problems and me not getting paid. This is NOT MY FAULT, Rick Scott needs to get a handle on this and get it fixed NOW!!!!!

chantel66 - 12/4/2013 3:58 PM
0 Votes
I can't understand how you can work for your entire adult life (in my case, the last 25 years) and now that I'm out of work, I'm only able to get one year of unemployment then have to get food stamps if I want to eat. Totally unfair system.

daleeff - 12/4/2013 2:42 PM
0 Votes
A letter to re employee people is a good thing. They usually give advice on job openings available to people able to work. Unfortunately most unemployed do not want a job they just want the check.
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