Florida unemployment mix-up bigger than state officials had thought
October 14th, 2011
The following article was published in the St. Petersburg Times on October 14, 2011:
Florida unemployment mix-up bigger than state officials thought
By Jeff Harrington
A computer mistake that delayed unemployment payouts to some jobless Floridians is more widespread than state officials originally thought.
About 27,000 recipients of unemployment insurance face payment delays this week ranging from one to three days.
Initially, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity told the St. Petersburg Times on Wednesday that only 1,750 were affected by a programming error that meant they wouldn't be able to use their debit cards to access their latest unemployment installment until Friday, three days later than anticipated.
But in a further analysis, the agency "discovered additional issues that would result in a payment delay," spokesman Robby Cunningham said. For the vast majority, the delay is one day, he said.
"This issue has been resolved and tested to ensure it will not occur again," Cunningham said. "Again, we wish to sincerely apologize to all affected claimants."
Linda Warren, 55, of Tampa was among those who expected to have access to her money Wednesday. On Thursday, while still waiting for confirmation that funds were available, she was weighing how to handle a $25 co-pay for a doctor's appointment.
"If I don't show up (for the appointment), I get a $25 cancellation fee," she said. "They don't realize the hardships they place on people."