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Chuck Schumer calls Florida’s unemployment system, “‘Uniquely Poor” Orders Probe

Chuck Schumer
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., May 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Two top-ranking Democrats in the U.S. Senate are asking the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate Florida’s CONNECT unemployment website.
Many Floridians still have not received a pay out on their unemployment claims.

In a letter to the department’s inspector general sent Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, wrote that Florida’s failures stand out even among other states that have struggled to pay their out-of-work residents.

“While all states have seen record increases in the number of its residents applying for unemployment,” their letter states, “the state of Florida’s performance has proved uniquely poor in its abject inability to assist millions of Florida residents who have applied for and continue to await unemployment benefits.

Accordingly, we ask that you immediately begin an audit and investigation into the Department of Labor’s oversight of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (FLDEO) failure to efficiently process unemployment insurance claims and deliver benefit payments during an economic crisis and the persistent, critical flaws in the state’s unemployment systems. While all states have seen record increases in the number of its residents applying for unemployment, the state of Florida’s performance has proved uniquely poor in its abject inability to assist millions of Florida residents who have applied for and continue to await unemployment benefits”

Read the letter here.

The letter goes on to read: “Drastic improvements are needed, and it is unclear what steps are being taken immediately to mitigate the possibility of future failures in (Florida’s) unemployment processing system.”

The inspector general does not have to honor the senators’ request.

Since all the problems with the CONNECT website a virtual “waiting room” has been added to alleviate the frustrations and to service up to 80,000 people at a time rather than 1,000.