New State Unemployment System Could Cause Delays in Jobless Benefits
Published October 10th, 2013
GAINESVILLE -- Thousands of North Central Floridians who are out of work are now bracing for a delay in their unemployment claims thanks to a new computer system.
Starting Wednesday at noon, the previous online system used to process jobless claims went dark as the state began the process of switching over to a new system.
According to state officials, the new system won't be ready until next Tuesday, leaving more than 20,000 people across North Central Florida without any benefits.
That includes Todd Sherman of Gainesville, a federal employee who was furloughed by the Commerce Department last week. He decided to file for unemployment after it became clear the government shutdown may last longer than he originally anticipated.
"They're saying that it's only going to be a few days long, so it's going to be over with really quick," said Sherman. "Now it's kind of a week-and-a-half into it, and you're wondering, is this going to go on the whole month?'"
Anticipating a rush of applicants, the state Department of Economic Opportunity, which processes unemployment claims, says they will extend their hours once the website is back up and running on Tuesday.
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