Orlando man depletes 10 years of savings before receiving unemployment benefits

Makes End Meet, DEO helped home security salesman collect 20 weeks’ worth of benefits

Makes End Meet and the DEO helped a home security salesman collect 20 weeks’ worth of benefits.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Peter and his wife Nanette told News 6 they borrowed money and depleted 10 years of savings waiting for the Department of Economic Opportunity to issue Peter’s unemployment benefits dating back to September 2020.

Peter, who had worked in home security sales for 15 years and asked that we not use his last name in this story, wanted to go public to inspire unemployment claimants not to give up.

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On Tuesday, after nearly two years of waiting, the DEO issued the words he and his wife thought would never come: “Your request for benefits have been received and is scheduled to be processed.”

“Now that inflation is so bad, this couldn’t have come at a better time. (We got) $2,800—that’s 3 mortgage payments,” the Orlando resident told News 6.

Peter said the process of getting help had been frustrating as he tried to navigate the DEO system by internet and telephone with no success.

“It almost made me want to give up,” he said. “Several times I threw my hands up in the air and said, ‘The heck with it,’ but with News 6 helping me, we finally got it done.”

Peter said calling the DEO was beyond frustrating and he blamed the system, not the staff or state leaders.

“The government does care, they just have a terrible system and they have too many people requesting assistance,” Peter said.

Peter said he and his wife were finally able to get through to the DEO online and found his account was simply pending.

“I watch News 6 all the time and saw you helping people with the same problem I was having, so we gave you a call,” he said.

Thanks to the partnership with News 6 and the DEO, Peter was able to get his back benefits a few weeks after he called Make Ends Meet.

“All I can say is that (Make Ends Meet) is a great program. You help people. Thank you,” Peter told News 6.

If you have an unemployment issue email makeendsmeet@wkmg.com or text the words “Make Ends Meet” along with your issue to 407-676-7428.

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About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.