DEO launches virtual waiting room for CONNECT system

Virtual Line to Get on Connect

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Thousands of Floridians are waiting on their unemployment benefits in full from the Department of Economic Opportunity.

Claimants have to claim their weeks on the CONNECT portal.

Monday morning as many people logged in to check on their unemployment accounts they realized there was a virtual line they had to wait in before gaining access.

“It puts us in line like at Disney world, without a fast pass. And at the bottom you see this little guy just meandering his way across this horizontal line kind of like the old dial up,” said frustrated claimant, Eddie Garcia.

Garcia is one of the many people who waited for hours in line before gaining access.

He was kicked out of line after a two hour wait. Others like Kyle Kerr say they experienced the same issue.

CONNECT: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has launched a virtual waiting room for the CONNECT system. They say...

Posted by ABC7 Sarasota - WWSB on Monday, June 1, 2020

"It's a computer system that was poorly made at 77 million dollars. So this is their panacea? This is their cure? NO! Because now you're exacerbating the frustration of Floridians trying to log in. You're in a queue," said Garcia

Garcia says this is another thing adding to the frustrations he's endured since first applying for unemployment in March.

Others like Stephanie Sherman say they waited in the queue for two hours. Once she was in, she didn't have issues except for not receiving a dime yet from the DEO.

A spokesperson for the department says the system can hold approximately 80,000 users at one time. The DEO says by limiting the amount of people on CONNECT at one time, it allows claimants to be more effective on the site once they’re on.

Many viewers are asking for the DEO to bring back the old way. While others say the site is better this way.

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