The latest relief package offers an extension of federal unemployment benefits for Floridians who lost their jobs, but NBC 6 Responds continues to hear from people who are still waiting for benefits from the first stimulus package.
“There is no one in the state of Florida that I have not called. I have been waiting since March, it is so frustrating. So I am like, okay, let’s give it a try with Sasha and the NBC 6 Responds team,” Dominic Ayesu said.
Ayesu says he applied for state unemployment benefits in March but was deemed ineligible.
He says he was given the option to apply for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, but says that the application was flagged.
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By December, he says his claim sat stalled in the adjudication process for nearly five months.
“Calling the DEO and being on the phone for like four and five hours in a day when you could spend it doing something profitable, it all adds up to the frustration,” Ayesu said.
When Ayesu called NBC 6 Responds he was waiting on roughly $14,000 in unemployment benefits.
It is money he says his family needs.
“The little money she makes we use to pay rent, pay electricity, cable, water, everything phone, and then we are down to like nothing, we are down to a few bucks to just live on, things were really really hard,” Ayesu said.
We reached out to the DEO about Ayesu’s claim. In an email, a spokesperson said, “While we cannot comment on specific claims, we have sent this information to our Reemployment Assistance team for further review.”
We also sent Ayesu’s information to local lawmakers.
Within days, Ayesu received all of the money he was waiting on.
“You delivered for me, and my wife, in helping us get all this money back, we are really grateful for your help and your support,” Ayesu said.