Troubled Unemployment Claims Website Prompts Florida to Withhold Payment

By Gary Fineout
|  Friday, Dec 20, 2013  |  Updated 3:08 PM EDT
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Governor Confident He Can Meet Job Creation Promise

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Feds Asking Florida To Make It Easier for Some People To Get Unemployment Checks

The state of Florida has changed the process you have to go through to get unemployment benefits and now the federal government says the state needs to take a second look at those changes. The feds are asking the state to make it easier for some people to get their unemployment checks. Maria Orellana, who hit a roadblock when she applied for unemployment benefits, attorney Valory Greenfield with the nonprofit organization Florida Legal Services, Jesse Panuccio, the executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and Ludnel St-Preux, the deputy director of the community organization Sant La, discussed the unemployment process.

Governor Confident He Can Meet Job Creation Promise

A day before President Barack Obama visits PortMiami, Florida Gov. Rick Scott was in town and sat down for an interview with NBC 6 anchor Jackie Nespral. He touted his job creation accomplishments, saying they matter more than a recent poll that showed he'd lose a re-election matchup against his predecessor, Charlie Crist.
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Florida officials say problems with the state's new unemployment claims website are so bad they are withholding a $3 million payment to the company that built it.

The state switched over to the new system in October. Those seeking unemployment benefits must use the website in order to receive a claim.

But there has been a steady stream of complaints about the $63 million computer system installed by Deloitte Consulting.

State officials have insisted for two months that the problems were getting fixed.

But in a Dec.20 letter the executive director of the state's Department of Economic Opportunity said it is clear that the system was launched with "numerous defects." Jesse Panuccio said that while improvements have been made the system is still not working properly.

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