Employer also faces unemployment system access issues

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Credit: WINK News.

So many of you have struggled to collect Reemployment Assistance benefits through Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity CONNECT website.

But it’s not just you; employers are also having trouble with the system.

They’re getting locked out of their accounts and unable to get help.

One employer we spoke to has struggled for nearly six months, and counting, to successfully complete DEO account verification.

The secretary for the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Port Charlotte (Aerie #3296), Marty Newton, wrote a letter asking for help.

For the last several months, the DEO has thrown a wrench into her routine.

“You’ve reported before on unemployed people having troubles. Guess what?” Newton said. “I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but the employer is having – this employer is having – troubles getting signed on.”

In May, Newton got a letter from the DEO, letting her know a former employee applied for unemployment benefits.

She needed to respond by a specific date in order for the DEO to “Determine whether benefits should be paid or denied.”

All Newton was supposed to have to do was log into the employer side of the connect website, a seemingly simple task that Newton describes as impossible.

“I tried to call the phone numbers; I’ve got three different phone numbers I kept trying to call,” she explained. “And several times, they would just hang up on me.”

After writing several emails, letters to the Tallahassee office and calling many times a week, she finally got an answer.

She was told the Fraternal Order of Eagles was an inactive business, so she needed to talk to the Florida Department of Revenue to clear it up.

“So I called the Department of Revenue. And they say no, it’s active. We send you your tax notices on a quarterly basis,” Newton added.

Now, Newton’s back to calling the DEO, and she said she’s back to getting hung up on.

Five months later, she still can’t log in or get answers.

She said it’s frustrating, “We’ve got to get DEO to correct their website and at least respond.”

We reached out to the DEO on Newton’s behalf and they have since reached out to her and are in the process of getting the issue fixed.

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