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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

CONNECT problems not a fluke with DEO



TALLAHASSEE — Thousands of Floridians await jobless benefits of up to $275 a week that they need to survive and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson calls the state's claims system "a mess."

But as bad as the $63 million online site has been for those whose claims have been delayed for weeks, and in some cases months, CONNECT is only the latest example of the barriers blocking Florida's unemployed from collecting benefits.

"The computer issue is focusing attention on the system, but it isn't the biggest problem," said Karen Woodall, executive director of the Florida Center for Fiscal Economic Policy, a Tallahassee nonprofit research group. "The problem is our system."

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[Last modified: Monday, January 27, 2014 6:14am]


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