Overpayment Issue Keeps Woman From Getting Pandemic Benefits

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A Broward County woman says a claim from years ago is keeping her from getting the unemployment benefits she is owed.

Since the pandemic started, NBC 6 Responds has brought you stories of Floridians struggling to get their unemployment benefits.

The most recent numbers from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity show 97% of eligible claimants have been paid, but those numbers don’t mean much to people like Stacey Sindon.

“I am behind so many months,” Sindon said. “They are going to take my car if I don’t start paying things.”

Sindon says her claim is stalled due to an old claim from 2017.

“They approved me for unemployment, but there was an overpayment on my account,” Sindon said. “I looked at the overpayment and it was all the way back from 2017.”

Sindon showed us paperwork from the DEO that showed an overpayment of $3,203 is owed to settle the outstanding amount on the old claim.

She says she spent months trying to appeal the overpayment amount, but eventually the appeal was dismissed. She says she paid the outstanding amount in late October.

“I even paid more on the overpayment to make sure it would clear my account,” Sindon said.   

When she reached out to us in November, she was still waiting on the amount to be applied to her account.

“It is never like a direct answer, it is not like you can talk to a supervisor,” Sindon said. “I was on hold the other day for two hours and got disconnected.”

There was activity on Sindon’s claim after NBC 6 Responds reached out to the DEO. The amount she paid was applied to her account, but somehow a $.96 balance was left outstanding.

“I don’t know how that is possible when I paid more than my overpayment,” Sindon said.

Sindon says she quickly went online and paid the new outstanding amount but is still waiting for her pandemic benefits to be released.

“I am worried about Christmas, but I am more worried about my bills,” she said. “I am worried about my creditors, I am more worried about surviving.”

Sindon says she is owed roughly $17,000 in unemployment benefits.

We have reached out to the DEO about Sindon’s claim several times. A DEO spokesperson told us they cannot comment on claim specific information but they have sent her information to their reemployment assistance team for further review.


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