Ray Dumont, 26, had been waiting a year for $11,000 in unemployment benefits he applied for but was never able to collect from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Both he and his mother, Michelle, work as independent house painters in Panama City Beach but last March, the coronavirus pandemic brought everything to a halt.
“Unless it’s new construction you’re not getting any work,” Michelle said.
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A year later finding work is still difficult, Dumont said.
“It’s still hard right now,” Dumont said. “I’m just a smaller company I’m still young so all the bigger dogs get it before I do.”
With a 1-year-old son to care for and bills piling up Dumont filed for unemployment benefits last March.
His mother said they filed one day apart but when she received her benefits starting in March there was an unexpected issue: she was locked out of her account.
“If I didn’t get help from you guys on that locked account I probably wouldn’t be in the account,” Michelle said.
She contacted News 6 again for one more lifeline this time for her son’s back benefits.
Dumont waited from March to August before he started receiving an unemployment check even though he filed months earlier.
“It says his effective date is August 23, 2020 but that’s wrong,” Michelle said. “We applied for him back in March.”
Dumont’s 1099 confirms he earned enough to be eligible for unemployment assistance yet the Department of Economic Opportunity account was never adjusted.
News 6 contacted the DEO and within 72 hours the additional weeks were available on his account.
On Monday, Dumont and his mother told News 6 that they never expected the issue to be addressed so quickly.
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