We’ve received dozens of messages from people who still have not received unemployment payments
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the country, many worry the pandemic will have a lasting financial impact.
Fox 4 is committed to getting you answers in a series we're calling "The Rebound Southwest Florida".
Ed Kellner worked at Dillard’s in Edison mall, and on March 31st he was laid off due to COVID-19 shutdowns.
It’s been three months since he has applied for unemployment and has yet to receive payments.
“I truly believe that the state of Florida is trying to not pay people, ” said Kellner.
He’s tried everything, even contacting state and local officials.
Kellner says time is of the essence as debt begins to pile up.
“I’ve got a few thousand in credit card debt right now, ” said Ed Kellner.
Millions of Floridians have applied for unemployment benefits since March.
“The volume of request, the state system just couldn’t handle it, ” said Tom Smythe.
Many people have expressed long call times and system outages with The Department of Economic Opportunity.
“In today’s high tech world I don’t understand why they can’t fix the system, ” said Kellner.
Florida Gulf Coast University Professor of Finance Tom Smythe says there is really no easy way around this.
“All people can do is be persistent as frustrated as they know they are,” said Smythe.
The future of our economy is largely dependent on the state of COVID-19.
Professor Smythe urges everyone to save as if your job depended on it.
“You really need to be looking at cutting back on wants, taking every spare penny and putting it in a savings account, ” said Tom Smythe.
Fox 4 is compiling a list of people who can't get answers about their unemployment status.
We have submitted those names directly to the department of employment opportunity - and in some cases, learned people suddenly started getting their unemployment checks or got directions on how to correct their claims.
Send us an email or message us on Facebook so we can go to work for you.