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Tampa man hasn't received 7 months worth of unemployment benefits

Posted at 8:11 PM, Apr 27, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — Out-of-work Floridians continue to turn to ABC Action News for help in getting the benefits some say never came.

As COVID-19 damaged industries across the state, Daniel Eckert's job as an electrician's helper went from 40 hours a week to barely anything.

"I was getting maybe five to seven hours a month work," he said. "That was not enough to pay my bills."

He says family helped keep him afloat for as long as they could, but in the end, he says he was evicted from his apartment and is now sleeping on his niece's couch.

"My claim has been active since 9-22 of 2020, and I have not yet been paid a dime," he said.

Eckert says a supervisor told him an unemployment claim from 2016 might be the cause of the issue. He says within weeks of being approved back then, he found work and told his local career source office to cancel the claim.

" I said, 'I'm moving to Tampa. My job is moving me to Tampa, and I'm going to be an electrician's helper,'" he said. "And he was like 'great, awesome. I'll take care of it,' and I guess that claim has stayed open."

On top of that, his account was put on an incarceration hold even though he was released from prison in 2016.

He can't get anyone to work through the issue — and is now going on seven months with no money and says he doesn't want to ask his family for anymore.

"I've exhausted all of the resources that they can give me, and they've given it to me; they're not asking for anything back," he said with tears. "Which I'm glad I have family that can do that for me."

We've sent his information off to the DEO, who say they are passing his claim to someone who can help.

If you're still waiting on benefits — fill out our spreadsheet. We send it to the DEO every Friday.