Disney cast members say they are still waiting for unemployment benefits 6 weeks after furloughs

Employees from Epcot to Fort Wilderness say bills are mounting

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Hundreds of Disney employees registered in the Department of Employment Opportunity six weeks ago told News 6 they are still waiting for their first state and federal unemployment checks.

In a series of Zoom interviews with News 6, Disney cast members shared frustration with a system they viewed as “broken” leaving them with mounting bills and dwindling bank accounts.

James McGaha was furloughed from the Disney All-Star Resorts on April 19 and has never received a check.

“We’re still in limbo with the Resorts,” McGaha told News 6 Wednesday, ”But I’ve been without money, I have absolutely nothing.”

McGaha said a DEO employee told him to call the fraud department because of what has been qualified as an identity issue.

McGaha said his identity has never been compromised and the financial stress has him overwhelmed.

Chris Gorman a long time Florida resident has been working for Disney cruise lines for 16 years like McGaha he has been told the DEO is unable to confirm his identity.

The message on the website reads: We are unable to authenticate your identity as this time however, there is no action required from you.”

Gorman told News 6 the message is flawed because he was able to apply for food assistance with the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

“ How can one agency know who I am and approve it in four days but the other agency can’t, “ a frustrated Gorman told News 6, I probably have a couple of weeks (of savings) left.”

Kristin Pauly has worked for Disney since 2008, the IT specialist was working with Fort Wilderness when she was furloughed.

“There’s very little left in the bank,” Pauley said, “we’re just not getting the help we need.”

Pauley said she had been receiving state and federal unemployment checks, a few weeks ago the deposits into her account stopped without explanation.”

“I understand that I am very lucky that I received several payments, she said, “ for the others going without payments for sevn weeks is just horrible it’s not right.”

News 6 conducted interviews with several Disney employees including a single mom who said she only has $16 in the bank.

Her story will air tomorrow night.

If you have an unemployment issue send an email to: makeendsmeet@wkmg.com

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