Florida's unemployment website will shutdown early this Wednesday

As of May 11, just fewer than 666,000 people have been paid a total of $1.72 billion in benefits.

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click to enlarge Florida's unemployment website will shutdown early this Wednesday
Photo via Gov. Ron DeSantis/Facebook

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's Connect website has been called the worst unemployment system in the nation, in no small part because of frustrating nightly closures that restrict the hours it can be used.

This week, in addition to the "nightly maintenance" which takes the system offline at 8 p.m., DEO will make "system enhancements" on Wednesday, May 13, closing it down after 5:50 p.m.

The schedule does not affect individuals filing a new claim. Applicants for first-time benefits can still submit 24 hours a day using a recently built Google Form at FloridaJobs.org. Only those checking in on existing accounts to see their information and status updates must wait until 8 a.m.

DEO released their latest "Reemployment Assistance" numbers on Tuesday, showing that, as of May 11, just fewer than 666,000 people have been paid a total of $1.72 billion in benefits. Among those paid, about 23,000 individuals received a total of $11.5 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through the CARES Act, which is available to those otherwise ineligible for unemployment, such as the self-employed, independent contractors, certain nonprofit employees and gig economy workers.

Applicants hoping to use PUA funds must have been rejected for unemployment benefits first. The CARES Act also includes an additional $600 weekly benefit for individuals who are eligible for state Reemployment Assistance benefits.For additional information about Reemployment Assistance benefits visit FloridaJobs.org/COVID-19.

This article first appeared on at our sister publication Orlando Weekly. 

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