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Out-of-work Floridians locked out of CONNECT accounts after ID verification

Unemployment locked out
Posted at 6:19 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 18:21:58-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — This week we told you in an attempt to weed out fraud, the state has hired ID.Me to reverify everyone who filed an unemployment claim from February to December of 2020.

But many people say even after they were verified, their accounts are locked.

“I couldn’t sleep last night, I was up all night trying to figure out what to do, sending out more emails,” said Martin Fuchs, who is worried about bills.

He and others say they can’t claim their benefits because of the locked accounts.

Martin Fuchs would have claimed, “Today, and I would normally have the money in the bank tomorrow.”

We spoke to Fuchs last week after he, and many others, were prompted by the DEO to reverify his identity through ID.Me.

“I’ve done it five times,” he said.

Felix Flores, who is also dealing with a locked account feels like they are just waiting in the dark wondering when they’ll be allowed back in.

“It’s the whole part where we’re left sitting here not only with the like, a what’s going on, feeling, like is something going on with my account or is it really just a systematic issue?” asked Flores.

He says he’s going on 8 weeks with no pay after dealing with an incarceration hold. It’s something the state admits inaccurately flagged hundreds of thousands of accounts by mistake.

“If I didn’t have help from family I would be a sunken ship at the moment,” he said.

The DEO says after the verification process accounts will be locked for at least 3-5 business days. Felix is on day 6, but CONNECT was down last Friday. He hopes it gets unlocked tomorrow.

Emma Hager’s account was unlocked this afternoon but the weeks she claimed last week BEFORE her account was locked haven’t been paid to her

“I haven’t seen any type of payment,” she said. “I have a car payment coming up, I have car insurance, I have electric that’s gonna turn off tomorrow. It’s just, I feel like they just don’t care.”

If you’re having issues with a locked account AFTER 3-5 business days, fill out our spreadsheet so we can send your info into the DEO.