Fla. unemployment system glitches delay assistance

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Thousands of people across the state are frustrated Friday afternoon with the state's new system for filing unemployment.

The state launched the new $63 million online system three days ago, and major glitches are keeping some from receiving the cash assistance they depend on while they look for a job.

Jewel Keene said she's at her wits' end and getting help from the state has been almost impossible.

Keene, a former restaurant server, has been receiving an error message when she and her sister try to claim her unemployment weeks on the new online system.

"They changed the system and now I have no money to pay the bills that I'm supposed to pay today," Keene said

Every time she has called a number listed on the site, she gets a message that says, "We are experiencing high call volumes, and all of our lines are busy. Please try your call again later."

Many other people said they are dealing with the same problem Keene has. The button to move forward through the system is nowhere on the computer screen.

State officials said they expected to have some glitches when they launched the site Tuesday.

It replaces a 30-year-old system, which officials said had become difficult to maintain.

Officials said a team of programmers is working around the clock to fix the bugs.

Keene, who's been out of a job for months, says her time is up. She said she barely has gas in her car and her unemployment didn't come through so she couldn't pay her phone bill.

"Sunday I won't have car insurance so when I start driving my little car out there to take the kids to the school or wherever they got to go, I'll be driving without insurance," Keene said.