Florida man issued $3,500 after 2 years of unemployment benefit disqualification


WINTER PARK, Florida. – Eric Reyes could be the face of frustrated job seekers across the state of Florida.

The Winter Park man was unemployed in 2021 and 2022 for a total of 10 weeks, but he never received a single payment between jobs because, according to the Economic Opportunity Department, his claims were ‘disqualified’ .

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“I kind of gave up,” Reyes told News 6. “I was like, ‘Okay, well, they’re not going to help me. “”

Reyes just landed a job as a banking analyst, but in 2021 he lost a job in a warehouse and was out of work for five weeks before getting a customer service job, which he then lost at the start of 2022.

“You call (the DEO number) and it hangs up,” Reyes said. “The main problem was that no one ever contacted me by phone to let me know what was going on.”

News 6 and Make Ends Meet submitted his account information to the DEO and an investigator found that each time Reyes applied for benefits, he said he worked in 2019.

It looked like he was working while applying for unemployment benefits.

Years later, the DEO issued payments totaling $3,500 to his bank account, giving him badly needed funds to cover his past bills.

“I had the five weeks due to me last time (in 2021) and I had the weeks due this time,” Reyes said. “You definitely got the results I wanted and helped me a lot because I would have been lost.”

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DEO press secretary Morgan Jones told News 6 that anyone who needs to speak to someone about their ID.me status now has that option.

“This option does not require the applicant to take a selfie and can be selected once the applicant logs into their ID.me account,” Jones said.

For step-by-step instructions on how applicants can select this option, click here.

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Since Make Ends Meet debuted two years ago, the News 6 franchise has helped families in Florida and across multiple states collect more than $2 million in unemployment benefits.

If you have an unemployment issue, email [email protected] or text the words “Make Ends Join” to 407-676-7428 with the issue you are facing.

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