Greg Frank and his wife were among the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who became unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When he first spoke with NBC 6 in early May, the couple had spent weeks trying to get unemployment benefits without success.
“We’ve gone through most of our savings, and so now it’s getting to the point where we’re a little desperate,” Greg said back then.
On Friday, Greg said a lot had changed for the couple.
“Very grateful,” he said. “Very relieved.”
He said both he and his wife were finally receiving benefits consistently.
“It just kind of started trickling in,” he said. “As of right now, we’re all caught up. Both Yaima and I have received all of our benefits for both state and federal levels.”
The benefits had alleviated some of the financial stress they were dealing with, as they welcomed a baby boy to their family.
“We were blessed with that beautiful gift,” he said. “We were able to just kind of focus on him and not have to worry about the money coming in and what we were going to do with our bills.”
His advice to others who were still waiting to receive their benefits was simple.
“Stay positive and keep your head up,” he said.
The experience, he said, helped reinforce his faith.
“That things are going to work out, things are going to be OK,” he said.
Greg said they were getting benefits paid every two weeks – usually just days after claiming their weeks.
He also said he had not yet been called back to work, but he was worried about what would happen if COVID-19 cases continue to rise in South Florida and he ends up not being able to return to work before the end of July, which is when the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit is set to expire.