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Locked out issue hitting some Florida unemployment accounts

'The whole system is a mess,' Port St. Lucie resident says
Posted at 5:06 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 17:56:04-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Within the last week, many Florida residents trying to receive their unemployment benefits have reported that they have been suddenly locked out of their accounts.

Jena Mayers of Port St Lucie cannot get into her Department of Economic Opportunity account no matter how often she tries.

"I'm supposed to claim weeks tomorrow, and I can't even get on," Mayers said.

Jena Mayers, Port St. Lucie resident locked out of DEO account
Jena Mayers is among those who have been recently locked out her unemployment account.

The only thing she sees on her screen is that she's locked out of her account. It's a problem she says only recently occurred, and she cannot get any help to fix it.

"You can't speak to anybody. Nobody calls, nobody answers. The phone hangs up. The whole system is a mess," Mayers said.

The CareerSource office in Palm Beach County on Tuesday had a crowd of people looking for help with locked-out accounts.

A CareerSource representative said it is a DEO issue and other CareerSource offices experienced the same thing.

 Laurie Daniele, DEO account problems
Laurie Daniele discusses the problems she has been having with the DEO website.

Recently, the Department of Economic Opportunity experienced a data breach of tens of thousands of accounts and many accounts were apparently affected.

Laurie Daniele of Boca Raton also was locked out recently.

"It asks me for my claimant ID and password and to get in, my PIN. Once I do that, it goes to [a screen that says], 'You tried too many times, you’re locked out,'" Daniele said.

The DEO offers a help page for users experiencing difficulty using the website.