TAMPA, Fla. – When Candido Rodriguez received a Notice of Approval from the Department of Economic Opportunity in March, the Tampa construction worker was convinced his year-long wait for benefits was finally over.
“It’s been my worst nightmare,” Rodriguez said. " I haven’t seen a penny — it’s very aggravating.”
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The DEO notice issued on March 25 found in part that Rodriguez is “entitled to receive benefits for the period beginning 3/28/21.”
It went on to say that evidence “meets the requirements of the law.”
According to the notice, Rodriguez provided evidence his unemployment was “a direct result of the pandemic” and under the law, he is entitled to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
Rodriguez and his wife Nancy have tried to access the benefits on the DEO website, but they faced a series of setbacks, including identity theft.
“I faxed my documents four times and my W2s and my tax papers,” Rodriguez said. “(DEO) said to claim my weeks, and I started claiming my weeks — and nothing, no results.”
Nancy Rodriguez said her husband’s benefits are listed as pending each time they access his DEO account.
News 6 sent the documents to the DEO’s reemployment team in Tallahassee.
DEO spokesman Morgan Jones sent an email message to News 6 Friday morning saying, “Mr. Rodriguez’s issue has been resolved—He’ll be hearing from a member of our team soon if he hasn’t already.”
“I almost gave up,” Rodriguez said.
If you have an unemployment issue, and you think you are eligible for benefits, do not leave the money behind.
Send your issue to firstname.lastname@example.org or text the words “make ends meet” along with the issue to 407-676-7428