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.

READ: Orange County could end mask mandate in June, officials say

“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.”

Stimulus check update: What is ‘plus-up payment’ and does it mean more money for you?

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

READ: Florida reports 3,400 new COVID-19 cases, 36 virus-related deaths

“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).