Story of Justice:
Sebastian Reclaims His Unemployment Benefits
Sebastian*, a middle-aged man from Florida, had lost his job due to Covid-19. Without an option, Sebastian started receiving unemployment benefits that allowed him to keep paying for his rent and put food on the table. Nevertheless, Sebastian had a sense of urgency about getting back to work as soon as possible. After spending months looking for work, Sebastian finally caught a break, or so he thought. He had found a job that appeared stable enough to get him earning some money during the pandemic. However, due to an unusual lack of customers for the business, Sebastian was laid off only after a few days of starting to work.
Sebastian kept on looking for work to no avail. A few weeks later, Sebastian received a letter from the DEO’s reemployment assistance (unemployment.) The letter notified him that since he had returned to work, he could no longer collect unemployment compensation, and because of this, he had also incurred a $550 overpayment. Overwhelmed by the situation, Sebastian came to Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) for assistance with his unemployment claim.
With the assistance of CCLA, Sebastian appealed the decision by the DEO, which he viewed as unfair. CCLA investigated the case and represented Sebastian at his hearing. It was clear that there was a misunderstanding by the DEO about his situation. After presenting the case, the decision was in Sebastian’s favor.
Why it Matters
As a result, Sebastian continued to receive his unemployment benefits and had the overpayment claim corrected. These benefits will help Sebastian keep afloat while he finds a new job. Were it not for the accessible advice and representation provided by CCLA, Sebastian could have lost his unemployment benefits unnecessarily.
*Names and images have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients
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