Lawmakers call for unemployment fixes as system continues to lock people out

ORLANDO, Fla. — When Chris Brown lost his job working at the Orange County Convention Center last summer it took him three months to finally apply for and receive his unemployment benefits; now he is locked out again.

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“I got an email from DEO saying I need to log into my account and there was a message there that I needed to review,” says Brown. “I logged in and it said your account is locked. You need to go here and verify that you are who you are ‚so I went there and there was a whole list of things for me to do, from facial scans to my driver’s license. I did that and it sent me back to DEO but I still can’t get in.”

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Brown’s problems are not uncommon of late.  In February, DEO deployed ID.me to check for fraud.  The system, according to users and lawmakers, has been problematic.

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“DEO has recently tried to strengthen its fraud protection that is creating a lot of harm because it’s those efforts that are now penalizing people who are doing everything right,” says Rep Anna Eskamani (D – Orlando).