Struggling Orlando barber finally receives $7,000 in unemployment benefits

DEO, News 6 clear up incarceration discrepancy in time for Mother’s Day

ORLANDO, Fla. – Francisco Mojica admits he never would have survived the past four months without the financial help of his mother because he had no access to state or federal unemployment benefits.

“The connection between the Department of Economic Opportunity and us, the society is no bueno, no good,” Mojica said.

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Mojica lost his job as a restaurant server last year after COVID-19 forced his employer, B.B. King’s Blues Club in Pointe Orlando, to shut down.

He earned his barber’s license in 2020 and was able to get some work in College Park this year earning about $100 a week.

Mojica said his first unemployment issue centered on the home office of the B.B. King restaurant operation. based in Memphis, Tennessee.

Once he was able to prove he was working at the Orlando location, he faced another setback.

The DEO had him listed as incarcerated, a glitch that referred to 10-year-old incarceration based on a child support dispute.

“An incarceration hold,” Mojica said. “I don’t know what one has to do with the other (unemployment benefits)?”

His clients told him about the work News 6 and Make Ends Meet had accomplished to help people obtain delayed unemployment benefits.

Once he contacted News 6, the station was able to present the incarceration mistake to the DEO and Mojica received two deposits in his bank account totaling more than $7,000.

“It’s been a blessing so thank you,” he said. “It’s been awesome, that’s why I’m here with my mom to help her with some of her bills.”

When asked if News 6 was able to get results, a smiling Majica replied, “You did more than get results, you brought joy back into my life.”

If you have an unemployment issue, email

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.