In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have been forced to close, which has caused many people to lose their jobs and income.
After months of waiting, many Floridians tell ABC Action News they have not received their unemployment benefits and are paying the price. It has left many of them without money in their bank accounts.
About 1.6 million people have been paid unemployment benefits so far, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s dashboard. It says that the number reflects how many people have received at least one payment.
Todd Irving lost his job in December 2019 and has now gone without work for five months. He says he has not been paid the money he is owed.
“It’s been pretty stressful. I’ve depleted pretty much all of my savings, all of my checking is gone,” he said. “All of my weeks that I claimed are on hold.”
He says that is because of a miscommunication with his previous employer. But, he says he can’t get in touch with anyone on the phone from the DEO to help sort things out.
“No matter how loud the people are screaming about how broken the system is, it just doesn’t get fixed,” he said.
Irving received federal unemployment money on May 5, which was two payments totaling to $1,200 from the CARES Act, but says he has no way to track the federal money. It’s left him waiting to receive the rest of his federal and state unemployment benefits.
“With the whole unemployment stuff, you know, you gotta take care of the people and if you don't take care of them you have to expect that they are going to go out and do what they need to do to survive and that’s not going to help the whole COVID-19 situation,” said Irving.
ABC Action News has reached out to the DEO about Irving’s issue along with other unemployment concerns and is waiting to hear back.