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More than 3,300 People Have Applied for CARES Act Grants, But Problems Persist with Orange County Portal

Photo: Rosie Kerr
Photo: Rosie Kerr

More than 50,000 Orange County residents have logged onto a county portal to apply for a one-time, $1,000 dollar CARES ACT grant.

The website was overwhelmed with applications for the second day in a row. Some individuals and families still got error messages when they tried to upload documents into the county portal, but the county says it got more than 3,300 completed applications.

Gwen Cooper is a server at Orlando International Airport who wasn’t able to apply on Monday when the portal shut down six minutes before it was supposed to launch.

But Cooper said today she was able to apply, and her two adult daughters were able to apply as well. 

“You know my boyfriend's first response was, 'this will have us ok until August'. I definitely feel better about it because it gives me some breathing room. But you know the bar’s pretty low.”

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Cooper said she figured out quickly how to get around problems uploading documents by converting all document files into pdfs. 

“It was super slow and it was frustrating and there were definitely some challenges. Like pdfs work better than pictures is something that I discovered as I was doing it.”

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Cooper says her family has not qualified for state unemployment assistance, and she got her first federal stimulus check a few weeks ago.

The portal is now closed to new applicants. People who already started an application have until midnight Wednesday to complete it and should avoid logging out of the system if possible.

If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.