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Out-of-work Floridian's battle locked accounts, incarceration holds and vanished MEUC applications

Posted at 6:57 PM, Apr 07, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla — Anger and irritation are boiling over for many when it comes to unemployment benefits.

“You’ve had a year, a year get it together. I mean come on,” said Joseph Wesley, who says his account was on an incarceration hold even though he hasn’t been in jail for years.

The DEO admits it’s an issue that has wrongfully impacted hundreds of thousands of accounts and officials say they’re trying hard to fix it.

But, Wesley’s troubles go further than that — he was instructed by the DEO to reverify his identity and was officially verified on March 30 by ID.Me, a company hired by the DEO to weed out fraud.

“I was unlocked the 31st,” Wesley said. “It was unlocked within a day.”

Now, it’s locked again. Brandee Leizear has also been double locked.

“I’m still trying to catch up but they locked me out again so it’s just one thing after another,” she said.

The DEO told ABC Action News it’s aware some accounts are being relocked after verification and are working diligently to resolve it. They’ve also asked us to send in the names and information of people affected by this.

And while Linda Roberts' account isn’t locked, “Every day it’s back-and-forth, have you heard anything, have you got this, have you got that? Nobody knows,” she said.


She and others, waiting on the new federal program for mixed earners called MEUC, can’t seem to find their completed application. It was there the day they applied but suddenly vanished from the PEGA website.

“I got a number and it showed pending,” she said. “The next day I go to pull it up and every day since then there’s nothing there so I don’t know if it was transferred over to DEO or if it was not acknowledged.”

When ABC Action News asked the DEO where those applications went, we didn’t receive a response. The DEO did tell us MEUC payments should begin processing “soon” to eligible claimants.

So far, our team has sent the DEO the names and information of nearly 27,000 people who have struggled to get their benefits or have health with glitches in the system.

If you still need help, fill out our spreadsheet. We send it to the DEO every Friday.