Skip to main content

John ‘Jack’ Sullivan never thought he’d be on unemployment benefits at this point in his life, but at 78, the retired sales manager not only needed benefits, but was ‘stuck’ waiting for these allowances since August 2020.

“It was really tough back then. No money coming in,” Sullivan told News 6. “Then I saw other people getting money and I was like, ‘Wow. , What is wrong with me ?’ »

[TRENDING: Meat Loaf, ‘Bat Out of Hell’ rock superstar, dies at 74 | Opener for Bob Saget at Florida shows speaks out | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

A d

Sullivan had been a successful commercial real estate broker since 2004, a job he developed after retiring from the car sales business.

Between January and June 2020, sales stagnated due to COVID-19 and he needed help.

He told News 6 he didn’t think he was eligible for unemployment benefits because he was self-employed, but when other brokers started collecting benefits, he filed in August 2020. .

“I never got a dime, no,” Sullivan told News 6. “I almost gave up, but I heard your program.”

Sullivan saw a special Make Ends Meet report on News 6 that featured families receiving thousands in unpaid unemployment benefits. This convinced him to call for help.

“You’ve been great so far,” he said. “You’re my only one I hope I guess.”

The Economic Opportunity Department has been working to update the accounts at a faster pace.

News 6 presented Sullivan’s case to the Reemployment Assistance Team and on Thursday a representative contacted him to begin the review process to backdate his benefits.

A d

“Thank you for your help. I’ll keep you posted,” Sullivan wrote in an email to News 6.

The DEO Connect system has come under heavy criticism since the unemployment benefit claim began in March 2020.

Seminole County State Representative David Smith said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle assured him a new system would be in place by 2023.

“It’s broken beyond repair,” Smith said. “We can’t fix it. We have to replace it. »

Smith said bids for the $74 million budget signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year are coming in and the project is “on track and on budget.”

“I’m absolutely confident that we will have a replacement system that will meet the needs of Floridians,” Smith told News 6.

If you have an unemployment issue, email [email protected] or text the words “Make Ends Join” to 407-676-7428.

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All Rights Reserved.