Who knows if the ancient system used to process payments for Florida’s 250,000 unemployed workers has finally kicked the bucket. But over the last two days, while trying to fill my claim, the online system has given me a peculiar error message:
I tried calling this morning and the automated phone system tells me the computer is “down.” WTF?! I’m hoping this is somehow related to the positive changes at the Agency for Workforce Innovation. To handle a huge influx of calls over the last 18 months, the state is outsourcing some work to an Orlando call center. Hopefully, I say. Because if the state’s unemployment benefits computer database crashed, we’re going to have some angry, broke people in the streets. Including me.
If anybody has some clues as to what’s going on, please comment below.
A fellow blogger posted a link about me on their website a while back (thanks!) and in the same post, referenced another unemployed journalist: Christine.
I’ve been fairly lucky receiving my unemployment benefits for the first time, so it has been hard for me to offer advice here. But Christine, apparently, has been through the ringer dealing with our antiquated unemployment system:
The majority of you will be forced to navigate your way through this governmental body’s miles of red tape and voice mail. You will spend anywhere from 35 minutes to 15 hours a month on the phone or computer fighting for your unemployment compensation money. And when you do finally get a check, it will hurt your feelings. If this is the only income you are receiving, there’s no possibility of retaining the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed.
Yup. It sucks.
Read the rest here.
I’m really interested in your own stories, too.
In case you missed the news, Florida is now adding an extra $25 to your unemployment benefits this month. You should receive the money by March 31 and then you’ll receive another check for the back-payment of benefits from the end of February.
Interestingly, the extra $25 will come in a separate check. Must be for accounting purposes.
The full release and FAQ is here.