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Old 06-13-2011, 04:42 PM
 
3 posts, read 25,879 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello all,
I thought I would post about a problem I have been experiencing, seeing as to how many people on the forum seem very knowledgeable about the unemployment process. I have, unfortunately, been on unemployment for a while and was approved for EB a couple months ago. I had very few issues while I was on EUC, yet once I was placed on EB I have had nothing but trouble.
Every two weeks when it is my day to claim it appears to accept my claim online on their site. But every single time my claim fails to be processed the next morning and payment is delayed for weeks. This was never a problem until I was placed on extended benefits. So now every weekday (except Friday, as Workforce Development no longer accepts calls on Fridays) I waste hours of my time attempting to reach someone by phone, usually to have the system automatically hang up on me and tell me they are too busy, or to accidentally reach some other federal dept. that shares their same VOIP/Centrex server because their phone system screws up and mistakenly reroutes me, or to actually be put on hold for 30+ minutes (which I don't mind) and when I finally reach someone their phone system is so overloaded they cannot understand me and tell me to call back. From the times when I have finally made human contact, here is a summary of what I have been told over the course of these calls:


1) "Looks like there's a problem with your claim but I don't have access to that information. No, no one here right now has access to that. No, I don't know when they will be available. You will have to e-mail tech support."

2) There is a code/flag associated with my account which states I am not eligible for EB and it is causing my claims to be put into the "reject bucket" during the automated processing. When they clearly see I am eligible they have put in a note for tech support remove this code.

3) The reprocessors will have to manually reprocess the claim due to a "glitch".

4) "I have reprocessed your claim a different way and have had to get supervisor approval. It looks like tech support is working on removing the 'code/flag' from your account." -- Weeks later and still no payment issued!

5) "No, there is no such thing as a code or flag on your account. There is a reject code that shows the system tried to process your claim as regular unemployment but it should have been processed as EB. I will personally make sure it is processed tomorrow." -- It's been about a week and still no dice.

I'm really sick and tired of incompetency and/or being lied to six ways till Sunday. At this point it would be better NOT to have EB since it requires me to spend hours every day in an attempt to reach someone who may or may not be able to process the claim I filed weeks ago. I'm almost tempted to include "Agency for Workforce Development" in my job search log since they take up so much of my time and I may as well be working for them at this point!

Does anyone have any suggestions? My understanding is there is no physical unemployment office one can walk into in Florida anymore. Does anyone know how to file a complain or open an investigation onto these folks? I've heard that complains can be filed with the Department of Labor when payment is not being issued in a timely manner as the law provides, but does anyone here have experience with that or how I might go about doing that?

Thanks for any help you can provide!
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,390 posts, read 19,207,943 times
Reputation: 6888
Too bad you're having this run around. Have you received any EB payments at all?

I suggest you contact your state representatives - senators and assemblyman and the head of FL Agency for Workforce Innovation - and the governor. Telephone their offices and then follow up with an email. I had great success here in WI when we had a Democratic governor getting my benefits rolling due to a data entry backup. One email to governor's office and two days later I got a call from the gov.'s office saying money was in my account.

Here's a link to a message from Cynthia Lorenzo, Director of the FL Agency for Workforce Innovation.

AWI - Open Government and Transparency

Scroll down Director Lorenzo's page - there is a good link to an organization chart. I would try to reach the office of Lorenzo or Clendenning - phone call and email. That chart also gives the name of the person in charge of benefits, but I would go over her head - and make a lot of noise. She has to hear from her bosses on this.

Also, fwiw, here's a link to Career Center locations - w/addresses and tel. nos. In WI, those offices can't help with unemployment problems.

Agency for Workforce Innovation - Florida One-Stop Career Centers

There are many other telephone numbers and links on the Workforce Innovation site. Check them out.

Explain in an email to everyone exactly what you have posted here. If you are very aggressive in contacting your state legislators and also the agency director, I would think you'd get some results. Many people who post here in other states have had to resort to doing that - often with good success.

Good luck. Let us know what happens.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 06-13-2011 at 05:38 PM..
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:01 PM
 
8,065 posts, read 8,677,548 times
Reputation: 11401
It is Florida, that is the main problem. Actually FL is operating their system on some 35 yr old mainframe on the verge of collapse. Which would explain the glitches you're running into.

It was on the news about a year ago.

They knew of the problem but didn't do anything about even when they became one of the states with the highest unemployment rate.

You might want to contact your local congressional representative and complain.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:28 PM
 
189 posts, read 442,256 times
Reputation: 73
The entire unemployment system is being overloaded right now it was never designed to deal with this many unemployed.
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:22 AM
 
79 posts, read 125,463 times
Reputation: 27
How many work searches are you supposed to report per week on eb in FL these days?
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:10 PM
 
3 posts, read 25,879 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by michael1977 View Post
How many work searches are you supposed to report per week on eb in FL these days?

I believe the minimum requirement is that you look for work at least 2 days during the week. So I would assume that means you must apply for at least 2 different places.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:50 PM
 
3 posts, read 25,879 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
Too bad you're having this run around. Have you received any EB payments at all?

Ariadne22, thank you for all your help and advice! I got my problems resolved in just a few days, as a matter of fact! I was all set to contact my state reps and some other specific individuals at AWI, but I decided I would give them one more chance. Really, it was just an opportunity to get everything I had attempted to do up to that point documented.

I sent AWI one more e-mail through the form on their website. It summarized every step and contact I had made up to that point. At the end, I mentioned that if the issue was not resolved and payment not issued to me in a timely manner, I would be contact state reps, filing a complaint with the Department of Labor, and an investigation would likely ensue.

Now normally when you submit a question/comment via the e-mail form on their site, you get an automated response telling you to expect up to 5 business days for a reply (haha, yeah right), along with a copy of the text from your original message to them. Guess what I got this time? Nada. Hmm...that's interesting, I thought, maybe their e-mail server is running on a 35 year old mainframe as well and it crapped out ;-) What I did get was a voicemail just a few days later from someone at unemployment regarding an "e-mail I had sent." They didn't mention any details in the message but left a direct callback number and extension. Finally, I could get through directly to someone. Well, maybe not. I left messages directly for this person but they never called back.

So out of curiosity I checked AWI's site to see the status of my last claim/payment. Wow, payment had just been issued the day I received the voicemail and magically I was able to claim the previous two weeks that I needed to claim as well!

Things have been running smoothly since then....but I never did hear back from the mystery AWI employee, and I never did receive a confirmation of the e-mail I had sent. It just went off into the ether, as if it had never existed! This brings up an interesting point -- since there was no e-mail confirmation sent out, is someone actually sitting there manually filtering these submissions, and when they see that someone really means business they get the problem fixed and cover their butts by deleting the message?
Hmmm.... incompetency and antiquated, bogged down hardware is one thing, but based on my experience things may not be as they appear.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,390 posts, read 19,207,943 times
Reputation: 6888
sanity-fl - well, the squeaky wheel received attention, once again. Odd that someone so far down the food chain sifting through the emails was able to resolve your problem - or find the person who could. And, yes, I think there was no acknowledgment because the less of a paper trail, the better. Scary, isn't it, how our governments work these days.

Persistence and assertiveness is the name of the game in dealing with these govt agencies. They rely a lot on the fact that most people won't bother.

Thanks for the update. Your experience may be of help to someone else in FL down the road. Let us know of any other new developments. Hopefully, there won't be any.
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