DEO Launches Virtual Waiting Room, Claimants Complain of Added Delay

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The Department of Economic Opportunity launched what it calls a “virtual waiting room” for people trying to access the CONNECT portal.

When asked about this new step, a DEO spokesperson told NBC 6 in an email, “When CONNECT was developed, it was designed to have 1,000 concurrent users at a time. With the system enhancements put into place over the last few months, CONNECT is now able to host 80,000+/- concurrent users and provide a positive experience for the users utilizing the system. The CONNECT Virtual Waiting Room allows claimants to reserve their place in line while other claimants access the system.”

But some Floridians are voicing their concerns about the added step.

One person posting on social media, “They are making it even harder to get on the site.”

Lisa McGoldrick reached out to NBC 6 Responds after she says she was booted from the system several times.

“I was knocked out of the system, several times back to the virtual waiting room, 3 times,” McGoldrick said.

Each time she was booted out of the system, she says she was forced to wait in the virtual waiting room again.

McGoldrick says she needs to complete her application for PUA benefits after being deemed ineligible for state benefits twice.

“I was told to reapply. Then today, after the system was down another four days, today when I logged on, ineligible,” McGoldrick said.

She says after being unemployed for 12 weeks, Monday her claim status was changed to “Not Registered.”

“I just want someone to tell me where I am at right now and how to get through it so I can get my money,” McGoldrick said.

We reached out to the DEO about McGoldrick’s claim status, a spokesperson told us “Typically, 'Not Registered' means that their application is not complete.”

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