Unemployed parents sell blood plasma to feed family

Couple among hundreds caught in DEO Connect security glitch

Kyiah Nevue and her husband are one of the hundreds of unemployed families unable to access their state unemployment accounts because of a security glitch.
Kyiah Nevue and her husband are one of the hundreds of unemployed families unable to access their state unemployment accounts because of a security glitch.

Kyiah Nevue and her husband are one of the hundreds of unemployed families unable to access their state unemployment accounts because of a security glitch.

“I tried just a few minutes ago and it said I’m locked out and I need more verification,” the mother of four told News 6. “It’s definitely been a challenge.”

The Department of Economic Opportunity’s identity verification system is in place to counter an influx in identity theft.

This has delayed access to her account on several occasions.

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Nevue estimated the glitch left her without benefits for about 21 weeks.

This comes out to about $5,000 in unemployment benefits.

The couple is selling their blood plasma to pay the bills and put food on the table for their children.

“I have scars from it,” Nevue said. “It’s taken a toll on my family, my marriage is very stressful.”

Nevue worked the overnight shift at a WAWA convenience store but was forced to give up the job once COVID-19 eliminated day care and school for her children.

“My husband has been searching for work, there’s not much around here,” she said.

The landlord of the mobile home park has been understanding but without their unemployment benefits, the challenge to make ends meet becomes a near-impossible challenge.

“I know the government is doing its best to help us,” she said. “But they could do more, people in poverty are really struggling more.”

News 6 has received dozens of complaints from residents across the state each locked out of their respective Connect accounts.

The DEO contacted News 6 and confirmed it is aware of the identity clearance issues and is working on repairing them.

A spokesperson told News 6 anyone experiencing an issue should go through the “idme” protocol again.

If you have an unemployment issue email makendsmeet@wkmg.com.


About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.