Department advised to pay 11,000 unemployment claims

Many of Florida's unemployed have seen their payments delayed by the state's flawed online filing system Connect. The unemployed look for work and file claims at Broward's WorkForce One employment agency. (Sun Sentinel)

Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity has been advised to pay 11,000 continued claims that have been delayed in the state's flawed online computer system Connect, a spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson said Tuesday.

"[Labor] Secretary [Thomas] Perez told me Friday that his staff has advised the State’s Department of Economic Opportunity to pay some 11,000 claimants who have not been receiving their checks.  He also told me the state has been asked to reevaluate about  10,000 claims that were denied," Sen. Nelson said through his spokesman Ryan Brown.

But there's been no official word that those -- or the tens of thousands in initial claims -- have started to be paid, even though the U.S. Department of Labor gave the state authorization to do so 10 days ago.

DEO spokeswoman Jessica Sims said last week that the $63 million computer system is being reprogrammed by developer Deloitte Consulting to issue the payments.

Have you gotten paid since Connect launched in mid-October or is your claim still caught up in the system's technical problems? Let me know: Call Marcia Pounds at 561-243-6650 or e-mail mpounds@sunsentinel.com.