‘Make Ends Meet’ helps UCF grad secure nearly $7K in missing unemployment benefits

Young woman discovers mistake on her 1099-G tax form

Florida Dept. of Economic Opportunity.

ORLANDO, Fla. – When Annalise Bockin filed for unemployment benefits for the first time in her life last year, the young UCF graduate faced a system no class had prepared her for.

“As a young person going into this for the first time, being very unfamiliar with the process, it was difficult to navigate and understand what everything meant,” she said.

The savvy graduate, a marketing coordinator for a major hotel chain, caught a big financial disparity in her 1099-G tax form.

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The tax form, reviewed by News 6, showed she was paid more than $12,000 in benefits.

It turns out the Department of Economic Opportunity took $3,500 issued to her state debit card and rerouted the funds back to the state because she had never activated the account.

She was also paid $3,600 to cover checks that were never received.

“The value that they said I received was not the value I received,” she told News 6. “I basically had given up hope that I’d ever see that money.”

Balkin told News 6 that a recent “Make Ends Meet” report featuring a couple getting $14,000 in back benefits caught her attention and inspired her to contact us.

“Make Ends Meet” was able to present her file to the DEO on Feb. 15, and on March 9 the money was in her account.

“Through your contacts at the DEO, they reached out to me and that team has been great,” she said. “I got the money, it’s an amazing feeling!”

This week, Make Ends Meet celebrated its second anniversary as a WKMG-TV franchise.

To date, the team has helped Florida claimants receive more than $2 million in state and federal unemployment benefits.

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

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.