When Kimberly Kleckly and Dominique Fusco emailed News 6 for help to secure unemployment benefits from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity they had already been waiting 13 weeks to receive financial relief.
Both women had DEO unemployment CONNECT accounts that were active, eligible and on hold.
Their stories aired Oct. 2 and Oct. 6 respectively and were resolved in less than a week.
Kleckly was juggling bills for herself and her five children when she contacted News 6 to help her reactivate her account.
“I’m so grateful, thank you so much for everything you are doing for me and my kids,” Kleckly said. “I literally just wanted to give you a hug,”
Her story exploded on the internet reaching a about 800,000 views on social media from across the globe.
She even received donations from viewers from Florida, Maine and Asia who wanted to help her make ends meet during the unprecedented times of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kleckly had just been hired for a new job as a public transportation maintenance worker in Brevard county when she was diagnosed with COVID-19.
The single mother said she had only trained two days and was paid for roughly 11 hours of work.
Kleckly said she reported the new job to the DEO which suspended her benefits and placed her account on hold.
“I asked to speak to a (DEO) supervisor and they told me to be patient they’re backed-up,” she recalls, “I had 12 different lines (on my account) with the date saying hold, hold, hold.”
The account is no longer on hold and she was able to use some of the money to purchase computers for two of her children who are currently attending at home classes.
“I was going through so much for so many weeks,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dominque Fusco lost her Pensacola apartment to Hurricane Sally on Sept. 16 adding to the stress of waiting for unemployment benefits.
“I’m penniless and homeless,” she said in September.
Fusco and her husband moved to Pensacola a year and a half ago.
When COVID-19 hit she lost her job as a customer service representative then as a sales person in a local souvenir shop.
News 6 was able to work with the DEO to re-open Fusco’s account and her benefits were deposited into her bank account.
“There seems to be a lot of computer glitches,” she said. “I can find a place to live now,10,000 pounds have been lifted from my shoulders.”
If you have an unemployment benefits problem email us at firstname.lastname@example.org