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Mom of 4 says unemployment claim is locked and she can't get DEO on the phone to help

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jun 08, 2021

TAMPA, Fla — As the sun rises, Yashira Bruno begins her daily calls into the Department of Economic Opportunity’s fraud department.

“They open at 7:30 a.m. so like starting at 7:30 a.m. I’m constantly calling them and it always says the lines are busy and we are unable to get a callback,” she said.

Bruno has been getting benefits since the spring of 2020 but says in December she was able to get contracted work for about 2 months. After reporting her wages, she says her account was put under review and is now locked as she awaits I.D verification — the thing is, she was already verified by on April 15.

“I have anxiety every day because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. “It’s like not knowing when is this going to get approved, is it even going to get approved? What am I going to do, what’s going to be my next plan?"

That’s when she reached out to ABC Action News. We sent her information into the DEO as well as ID.Me to see if they could help. Both told us they have received her information and are passing it along to team members. But, Bruno doesn’t understand why it’s taking so long to get things fixed.

“You’re trying to get answers and you’re just kind of pushed off like you’re just nothing. That’s kind of how I feel,” Bruno said.

She’s not alone and questions from claimants are ranging from all over the place. Most recently they’re to do with work search requirements.

Some people say when they go to claim their weeks, the page to enter in work searches doesn’t pop up yet payments seem to be going out regardless.

We asked the DEO if this is a glitch in the system and if so how is it being fixed so claimants don’t take the blame for not entering in work searches. Officials told us, they’ll follow up soon but asked us for the claimant IDs of people dealing with this issue.

If you’re having an issue getting your benefits,fill out our spreadsheet.