The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Thousands of Florida's unemployed with delayed claims to get relief

18

January

State officials announced Saturday they will pay thousands of unemployed Florida workers who have had benefits delayed more than seven days because of technical glitches with a new government website.

"This step should serve as a great relief for claimants who have faced hardships due to technical problems with the system," said Jesse Panuccio, who oversees the CONNECT website as executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

"Some claimants have suffered and the DEO and the U.S. Department of Labor are committed to helping them through all legal and available means," Panuccio said.

The announcement came after federal labor officials arrived in Tallahassee on Friday at the behest of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

Alarmed by reports of growing desperation among unpaid claimants, Nelson requested they investigate Florida's oversight of an unemployment benefits system that serves about 235,000 claimants.

"The Secretary of Labor promised me that he would send his folks to Florida to fix the mess the state has made of its unemployment benefits system, and it seems he's doing exactly that," Nelson said.

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[Last modified: Saturday, January 18, 2014 9:10pm]

    

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