El Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida official who oversees the unemployment payment system in the entity held a press conference on Monday to address criticism about the handling of over 1 million claims due to the non-delivery of checks due to layoffs caused by the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
At the press conference, DeSantis repeated that the Department of Economic Opportunities of Florida has worked to fix the CONNECT application system, added a new mobile app site and hired more than 2.000 people to answer the calls of the people who claim or have doubts, reported clickorlando.com.
The governor explained that when unemployment checks first began to be paid in mid-March, the DEO had only 50 people answering calls from Floridians.
He also said he's asking the inspector general to investigate the creation of CONNECT, a system that was used when Rick Scott was governor and was apparently successful.
DeSantis reported that Florida has paid a total of $77.9 million to Deloitte in 2013 to rebuild the state's unemployment website.
In this regard, the governor stated "There were a lot of problems when this system was launched," adding that they are not the same problems that CONNECT faces now, highlighted: "This is a capacity issue that seems to be something that no one paid attention to."
DeSantis said he has directed the inspector general to investigate how the CONNECT system was paid for, including the contract was modified 14 times.
It should be noted that previously, the governor stated that the CONNECT system was faulty and was not prepared to handle an increase in this capacity.
"Any system was going to have some problems, but if we had anything more than 3 or 4% unemployment, this system would be a problem," DeSantis said.
"Even one mild recession, This would have been a problem and so it's not a good use of taxpayer money."
Asked if he would consider barring Deloitte from state contracts, DeSantis said it depends on the outcome of the investigation.
However, IG's investigation is unlikely to resolve the current issues Floridians face when trying to speak with someone from DEO about the status of their claims.
The secretary of the Department of Administrative Services, John Satter, is the current one; in charge of supervising the answers given to people about the unemployment check due to the coronavirus, after DeSantis asked him to take control of the DEO Directorate, he reported clickorlando.com.
Satter spoke briefly at the end of the news conference about some of the reasons so many Floridians report that have not received payment yet offered by the government.
Of the 1,7 million applications sent to the DEO, approximately 1 million are repetitionsSatter said, adding that some people have submitted as many as three applications.
La increased delay in sending checks, Satter said, is the large number of applications that are incomplete, whether they are missing an employer identification number, social security number, or contact information.
Until Sunday, the last time the DEO updated its reemployment claims panel, the 45% of the more than 1 million claims have been paid, which adds up to more than $979 million in benefit payments. More than 282.000 applications were declared ineligibles, however, some of them may qualify for federal pandemic benefits and will need to be invited to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in the CONNECT system.
According to the DEO, there could be multiple reasons why a claim is denied, including if they are receiving money in another state or if your identity could not be verified.
Anyone who has been denied unemployment and filed before April 5 must reapplyexplained the DEO.
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