Florida woman left homeless after Hurricane Sally still waiting for unemployment assistance

Pensacola woman says ‘Nobody will go above and beyond’ to fix her account

Dominque Fusco had been waiting for unemployment benefits for 13 weeks when Hurricane Sally delivered the final blow she did not need.

The Pensacola woman and her husband were forced to leave their apartment after flooding from the Category 1 storm she said “totally destroyed” their apartment and most of their belongings.

“My husband, I and two animals (huskies) had to swim to our truck to get out,” Fusco said. “We lost 85% of our belongings on top of the roof over our heads.”

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The former New York couple moved to Pensacola two years ago.

She said she was a call center manager but lost her job because of COVID-19.

Her husband is out on workers' comp recovering from a surgical procedure.

“It’s very difficult to find a job and you can only borrow so much,” she said. “It’s very difficult.”

Her Department of Economic Opportunity account shows her status as active and eligible but the jobless funds have not been released.

Fusco said her calls to the Department of Employment Opportunity have been frustrating.

“Nobody cares, I’ve made over 100 phone calls," she said, ”They tell me it’s an easy fix, they needed to email the adjudication department to release the funds."

Fusco said she had not seen a change in her DEO account status despite having told supervisors she lost her home to Hurricane Sally.

On Sept. 16 the seventh hurricane of the very active 2020 hurricane season battered the city of Pensacola and Escambia County causing an estimated $124 million in damages.

“I begged them (DEO) could you please pick up the phone and call them because no one is reading their email," a tearful Fusco recalled. ”Nobody will go above and beyond to fix a simple problem."

News 6 sent the Fusco’s information to the DEO’s Tallahassee office.

DEO Press secretary Paige Landrum said the case has been given special attention.

In an email, to News 6 Landrum wrote: “While we cannot comment on this specific claim, I wanted to let you know we have sent this to out Reemployment Assistance team for further review.”

If you have an unemployment benefits issue email us: makeendsmeet@wkmg.com

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