Wrong employer listing leaves Orlando mom without benefits until News 6 steps in

DEO issues $550 after Make Ends Meet reviews account

ORLANDO, Fla. – When Christine Mendez discovered a mystery company listed as a former employer on her DEO unemployment records, she knew it was going to be a problem.

“I was thinking, ‘What is Ward Roofing?’” she recalled, “‘What does this have to do with my previous employer?’”

Mendez told News 6 she worked for Orlando-based Trinity Roofing and Construction for four years until the company was sold a few months ago.

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She had never heard of Ward construction.

With a new baby and only her husband’s income to support the family, she filed for unemployment benefits.

Mendez told News 6 at first there were no payment issues but then, the benefits stopped without explanation.

“They tell you request benefits for two weeks,” she said. “So one week, they paid me and the next week, they didn’t.”

Make Ends Meet reviewed her Department of Economic Opportunity account and found it was active and eligible, but there was a note from the DEO: " Pending issue awaiting adjudication.”

“I’m not getting what’s rightfully owed me,” Mendez said. “It’s very frustrating, especially since I can’t get an answer.”

News 6 and Make Ends Meet contacted the DEO’s Reemployment Assistance team and within a few days, $550 was issued into Mendez’s bank account.

“I’m very grateful,” Mendez said Wednesday. “The whole team was on my side and I just know there’s a lot of people that will be grateful for you.”

Mendez will receive at least three additional back payments along with her weekly unemployment benefits.

She said she has been applying for work and hopes to have interviews scheduled soon.

If you have an unemployment issue, email makeendsmeet@wkmg.com or text the words make ends meet along with your issue to 407-676-7428.

Claimants waiting for tax information can now check their accounts to download the information.

DEO Communications Director Emilie Oglesby told News 6 the 1099-G forms are available to Reemployment Assistance claimants from now through Jan.31, 2022. They will not be available to all claimants immediately. If a claimant has not received their 1099-G form by Jan. 31, 2022, they can request it in the Reemployment Assistance Help Center.

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.