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Florida’s Unemployment Website now has a “Virtual Waiting Room”

If you didn’t receive your unemployment check last week, you’re not alone and now unemployed Floridians are getting help on the CONNECT website with a “virtual waiting room” to help them “wait in line.” Rather than allowing people to automatically log in to the state site, called CONNECT, users now have to enter a virtual “waiting room” which will protect their place in line and ensuring that they will not be dropped. Users’ progress is indicated by a stick figure walking across the screen. The DEO spokeswoman said CONNECT was designed to have 1,000 users online at once but, thanks to upgrades, it now has a capacity for 80,000. “The CONNECT Virtual Waiting Room allows claimants to reserve their place in line while other claimants access the system,” the spokeswoman said. If you’ve ever dealt with the unemployment system, half the battle is logging in.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which handles unemployment claims, said the agency is shifting to a biweekly schedule in an effort to streamline outgoing payments. “In an effort to get Floridians paid as quickly as possible, many claimants have received benefit payments weekly and at different times,” the spokeswoman said. “Moving forward and to streamline payments for Floridians, DEO will transition benefit payments back to a biweekly schedule.” Anyone receiving those unemployment benefits has another two weeks before they must confirm they are actively looking for work. Gov. Ron DeSantis waived the work search requirement until June 13.