After 20 days, SWFL woman finally receives unemployment checks


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After 20 days, SWFL woman finally receives unemployment checks

By Christy Dimond. CREATED Nov 4, 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Twenty days after the launch of Florida's new unemployment website, a Southwest Florida woman finally received the unemployment checks she's been waiting weeks to get. Dawn Kamedulski faced a series of technical errors ever since the state's $63 million system launched October 15. 

"It was probably one of the most frustrating times of my life," Kamedulski said. "Not knowing where to turn or what to do, knowing that money should be there... It is so frustrating. It puts your whole life on hold."

Kamedulski spent hours on the phone everyday trying to get help from Florida Department of Economic Opportunity representatives.  At one point, the system showed that Kamedulski owed money to the state, which turned out to be a technical glitch. 

"Just to be able to pay my bills again is great," Kamedulski said after getting the $700 she waited three weeks to get.

Although Kamedulski got her problems resolved, others are still stranded by the system's technical glitches. John Gaunce, of Cape Coral, is waiting on more than $1,000 that he hasn't been able to claim through the new system. 

"There's people like me and many others out there who need our homes," he said, worried about paying his rent check.

Senator Bill Nelson has called for a federal investigation into the site's problems, and whether state officials are doing enough to fix the problems. 

US Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Florida) compared the state's unemployment website to the Obamacare website. 

"There seem to be a lot of website problems- government website problems- these days," he said. 

When asked whether he supports an investigation into the unemployment system, Diaz-Balart said the issue is a state, not federal issue, and that he's focused on getting the Obamacare website fixed before looking at other issues. 

"Any other problems look minor compared to Obamacare," Diaz-Balart said during a phone call Monday night.