Florida’s unemployment website went down again Thursday
The state will move to a "cloud-based" unemployment system.

connect deo
Website woes recur for problematic platform.

Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity confirmed Thursday that the state’s long-struggling unemployment website was again experiencing outages, though the site is back up as of early in the afternoon.

“CONNECT will be temporarily unavailable for claimants. We apologize for any inconvenience and will provide an update when it is available to access,” the agency previously tweeted Thursday morning.

The outage was an unwelcome reminder of the state’s recurrent failures on this front for at least one legislator and potential candidate for Governor.

“A year later and the CONNECT website still crashes — Florida has one of the WORST unemployment systems in the country and it keeps proving itself to be awful every single day,” remonstrated Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, an Orlando-area Democrat mulling a run.

The website’s latest failures come just weeks after the head of the Department of Economic Opportunity painted a rosy picture of the platform’s future.

A revamp would turn it into a “new shiny car” when it’s all done, Economic Opportunity Executive Director Dane Eagle told a Senate committee in March.

“What I’m proposing is a new system, but it is using the system we have. There is some value to some of the coding, some of the mainframe infrastructure. Once we are finished, at least with this proposal, this will be a new car,” Eagle said. “If we can move forward with the cloud, more modular, the new user face, it will be a new shiny car.”

The DEO Modernization Act is ready for floor consideration in both the House and the Senate, and that would allow a statutory framework for reforms of the unemployment website. The bill cleared its final Senate committee Thursday afternoon

“As we speak, the DEO system is down,” bill sponsor Aaron Bean told the Appropriations Committee.

The latest outage came nearly a year after the first fiery quotes from Gov. Ron DeSantis vowing remedy for what he described as a “jalopy in the Daytona 500.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Eric Darling

    April 15, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    And it’s STILL DOWN as of 2:30 on Thursday April 15th, 2021. Liars.

  • Phil Morton

    April 16, 2021 at 5:21 am

    The Division of Elections and the Dept. of Health websites were also having trouble yesterday. Might want to get a new tech czar.

  • M Wilson

    April 16, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Who benefits/ed from Federal funds dispensed to Florida to administer AND payout Pandemic benefits? Who receives/ed interest on said funds?
    A year plus into the Pandemic Life Event, Florida continues to NOT provide a timely benefit process. To NOT learn from a year plus of reoccurring agency mistakes.
    Still over an hour to reach someone for claim specific help.
    Still untrained workers who “wait for a supervisor” for 2+ hours, to accomplish the smallest task.
    Still FORCING applicants to apply for Florida benefits repeatedly, when they’re only eligible for Federal benefits.
    Still DELAY, DELAY of approvals.
    Still restricting system access from Friday 8 p.m. until Monday 8 a.m..
    Still playing the same voice recordings from a year ago.
    Still system access issues.
    ALL supporting evidence that the state of Florida DEO is/was incapable of administration of Federal benefits, let alone state unemployment compensation.

    A year ago the Dept of Labor said
    “States must have a process for determining that Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applicants are ineligible for regular unemployment benefits, which may not include filing a regular claim as a first step. States are not required to take and adjudicate a full claim for regular unemployment insurance benefits to meet this requirement. While states are not prohibited from taking a full claim, to facilitate expedited claims processing the U.S. Department of Labor has discouraged states from doing so. Individuals should apply using the state’s PUA application process and, in states that have not yet established that process, must wait until it is established.”

    While FL DEO has ignored this DOL suggestion, people have died, been evicted, been unable to CARE for themselves and their families.

  • James Robert Miles

    April 16, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Another example of the worst Governor in Florida history, Not getting things done that should have been taken care of long time ago. Just for his incompetence, I am sure he will get re-elected again by the dumb Floriduh voter! Anybody but DeSatan in 2022!!

  • Jaime

    April 16, 2021 at 11:12 am

    It’s not down.. but I’m ineligible

Comments are closed.


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