ORLANDO, Fla. – Sylvia Mangsen went from salaried Sales Director for the Hampton Inn near Universal Studios to working 12 hours a week, and was then furloughed all in less than a month because of the COVID-19 economic retreat.
“That’s a huge difference," she told News 6. “This was back on April 3 and I still haven’t received anything, all the doors are closed for us.”
The single mother of three teen triplets, two sons and a special needs daughter, has her hands full.
The 16- year-old boys are participating in their high school’s ROTC program and her daughter participates in volunteer events when she can.
Mangsen contacted News 6 with a confusing mystery that centers on her benefits checks and an incorrect claimant identity number.
Her ID number starts with the numbers ’149,' while the checks she received have a claimant ID number that begins with ’131.'
“So I’m receiving money that I believe belongs to somebody else,” Mangsen said. “Because the case number is not mine.”
She filed for unemployment benefits weeks ago and her claim status is still listed as “pending-submitted,“ according to the Department of Economic Opportunity’s website.
Adding to the mystery is her request to have funds sent via direct bank deposit - the checks arrived by mail on May 18 and May 20.
Mangsen looked at the case ID number told News 6, “it is a different case, it’s not me.”
As she waits to sort out the ID number confusion, she also waits like so many other Floridians for the hotel industry to make a comeback.
“I’ve been with the company since 2009, almost 11 years,” Mangsen said. ”To be honest, I think the summer is a wash right now.”
News 6 contacted the office of State Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil who oversees the district in which Mangsen lives.
A spokesperson said the office has handled more than 300 cases where unemployment claims had issues, but said this case is not something they have not seen before.
The spokesperson said there is a common misconception that state representatives can approve unemployment benefits, which they cannot.
State lawmakers have been frustrated by the limitations of communication with DEO staffers and work hard to research and resolve issues when they can.
If you would like to help Sylvia and her children or if you have an unemployment issue, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.