Gainesville woman says DEO stopped her benefits for mystery jobs

Mother of 2 says the state listed 13 jobs she never held

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Beverly Jerome and her husband have been caught in a state unemployment “return to work” issue dating back to Sept. 22, 2020.

The mother of two told News 6 their family cleaning company shut down because of the pandemic, forcing the couple to file for unemployment benefits.

[TRENDING: REWATCH LAUNCH: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off | Thieves steal $13,000 worth of wigs from Altamonte Springs store, police say | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

“We were receiving our benefits ... all the way up to Sept. 22, (and then) it stopped,” Jerome said. “Honestly, I don’t know what they were thinking.”

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity had Jerome listed as having returned to work for 13 different state employers.

There were no companies or dates listed on the DEO file, but it triggered a hold on her benefits for eight months.

“I didn’t have any 13 jobs, I just didn’t,” the frustrated Jerome told News 6. “If I did, I would have kept at least one of them.”

Jerome’s records show she worked three jobs for short stints of time after the family business shut down, as a physical trainer for one week, a customer service representative trainee, and most recently, as an 11 Instacart employee for 11 weeks.

She started working with Instacart in August of this year and stopped collecting unemployment benefits. But while Jerome is still working with the company, she wants the back benefits she earned.

News 6 sent her records to the DEO for review. The reemployment team is analyzing the data this week.

We covered a similar issue on Tuesday, featuring a grandmother from Pompano Beach who was waiting for five months of unpaid state unemployment benefits.

On Thursday, Daniela Logoa received an update from the DEO indicating $5,225 would be issued to her bank account.

If you have an unemployment issue, email or text the words “Make Ends Meet” to 407-676-7428.

Remember to provide a screenshot of your DEO account showing your claimant number, monetary status and how many weeks you are still owed.

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.