I-Team: Fighting for your unemployment claims

Posted at 8:17 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 18:50:49-04

TAMPA, Fla. — ABC Action News is taking action for you, trying to get you the unemployment help we know you need.

I-Team Investigator Kylie McGivern and the ABC Action News team have been working for months to get you answers and get you paid.

To hold state unemployment officials accountable, so far, ABC Action News has sent the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity the names and information of more than 21,000 people. These are people who say they are still waiting on state or federal unemployment checks they are owed.

Having trouble with Florida unemployment? Let us help:

  • If you are unemployed and having problems specifically with receiving federal funds, click here.
  • For all other unemployment issues, including state unemployment funds, problems with the DEO website or unemployment account issues, click here.

In some cases, we found it’s getting people help quicker. We plan to pick people at random who have submitted their information, to see where their unemployment claim stands and if they've been paid.

Paul Gonzalez

  • Lives in the Florida Keys
  • The I-Team sent his information to the state in May and he started unemployment the same month

Paul Gonzalez reached out to the I-Team for help after he lost his hotel job in March.

Today, he is "pretty much almost caught up," on state and federal unemployment checks and is back to work.

But Gonzalez waited nearly two months to receive any unemployment money and said he couldn't get answers from the state. Instead, he told the I-Team he relied on TV reports and newspaper articles for information.

“It’s people like you that really help all of us. And you know, we’re all on this world to help each other, we’re all here - love, fun, this is what life’s about," said Gonzalez.

This week, the I-Team contacted five random people who filled out our unemployment forms and two told us they have not received all of the money they were owed.

Bob Snyder

  • Lives in Seminole
  • Contacted the I-Team in May and a week later, received all of the state and federal unemployment checks he was owed

“There’s many people who, like myself at one point, felt like just quitting and giving up on trying to get it. Because we weren’t getting anywhere. And there’s a lot of people that still haven’t gotten any money. I mean I’m grateful for the fact that I have. And I think that’s due in part to your help, which I really appreciate, but it’s people like you who are pushing,” said Snyder.

Snyder said he wants Governor Ron DeSantis to know, “This is about taking care of people. Making sure that the people have what they need.”

NOTE: ABC Action News receives no information from DEO on specific claims. We are only able to pass claimant information on to DEO.