For months, people have complained to NBC 6 Responds and the state about technical glitches and errors preventing them from receiving their unemployment benefits.
In mid-August, some people say they still have not gotten the benefits they are owed. Monica LaKind says she has struggled to get her unemployment benefits for months.
“I have used my income tax to pay the rent, my stimulus to pay the rent, I have used every penny I have saved to pay the rent,” LaKind said.
Before the pandemic, she worked as a substitute teacher. In March, she says she applied for unemployment benefits and like many was denied. She tried to reapply, but says she ran into problems.
“It wouldn’t let me get in, it would say error, error, error,” LaKind said.
When she finally submitted her new application in June, she says she was deemed eligible and received one week of benefits. But, she says the benefits soon stopped.
“It’s a notice of a claim from two years ago, April 18th, 2018, asking me why I didn’t go to the career source center,” LaKind said.
The online system showed this message in her portal stating, “An appeal has been filed and a decision is pending. It is important to continue requesting benefit payments each week if you are still unemployed.”
LaKind says when she called the Department of Economic Opportunity several times for answers as to why an appeal was filed and why the system wouldn’t let her claim weeks, she says she was told it was a system glitch.
“They are like 'it is a computer glitch', but I don’t even have any weeks to file and it says I need to continue to file, well it’s a compute glitch,” LaKind said.
LaKind says she is now facing eviction. She called NBC 6 Responds for help.
“So basically right now, completely broke, borrowing money from friend’s that they can’t afford either just to buy supplies for the house,” LaKind said.
We reached out to the DEO about Lakind’s case. In an email, a DEO spokesperson told us “We have had our Reemployment Assistance team take a look and we would recommend that she continue to log-in to CONNECT and request her benefits.”
Days later, LaKind says her once stalled unemployment claim is now moving.
She’s received a month of state and federal unemployment benefits, but says it still might not be enough to catch up on her rent payments. LaKind says a representative from the DEO has called her, but the appeal is still listed on her account and unresolved.