DeSantis likens unemployment website to ‘throwing a jalopy in the Daytona 500’

Governor says improvements have been made, but admits site is ‘still not the best designed system’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Addressing issues with the state’s website for re-employment assistance, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said the system was not up to the unprecedented surge in claims.

“This was a system that was designed to have 1,000 individual users on the website at a given time, and you could surge it to 5,000,” DeSantis said. “Well, when you’re in a situation like this, that’s the equivalent of throwing a jalopy in the Daytona 500. It’s just not going to cut it.”

The governor said an expansion in capacity was needed, calling it a “big challenge," and admittedly, DeSantis said it’s “still not the best designed system.”

During his evening news conference, DeSantis said that as of Monday, there have been about one million applicants addressed and that 97.6% of those who are eligible have been paid.

“It’s a heck of a lot better than it was six weeks ago,” DeSantis said.

According to the governor, there were about 2 million claims, but some were duplicates. He said in total, there have been approximately 1.6 million unique claims, and as of Tuesday, he said there were 172,700 in the verification process.

DeSantis said there have been about 468,000 people who were ineligible for re-employment assistance for various reasons.

Referring to the website, DeSantis said glitches are being fixed daily due to software upgrades, adding that there are now five customer service centers with 6,000 trained representatives. He said more than 2,000 state employees have been brought in to help with the issues.