KISSIMMEE, Fla. – After nine years on the job, Don Cantwell became one of the last of the local Holiday Inn Club Vacation managers to lose his position in March after his role became what he termed “redundant.”
The 45-year-old Kissimmee man told News 6 he has been struggling ever since, unable to find a new job or collect state unemployment benefits.
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“I ended up cashing in my 401k just to make sure that I don’t get evicted,” Cantwell said.
He has been doing some freelance writing while combing the internet job sites for potential leads.
As for filing for unemployment benefits, he said he has done that twice; the first attempt was lost in the mail, and the second attempt finally established a DEO account with five weeks of benefits acknowledged — but in limbo.
“It lists each week, and it says it’s been approved,” he told News 6. ”But the payment sections show it all on hold.”
After a registration issue was cleared up on the Workforce website earlier this year, the DEO issued a Go2Bank debit card, but nothing happened.
“I’ve got the card. It seems to be that everything is in order. They’re just not putting the funds on the card,” he said.
Make Ends Meet contacted the DEO in Tallahassee to have Cantwell’s account reviewed.
On Thursday, Cantwell sent an email to Make Ends Meet, saying in part, “Great news: they have lifted the hold from my account, and it looks like the funds are on the way! This is amazing news, and thanks again SO much for your help!”
Cantwell was told it will take roughly three days to have the funds issued to the account, which means he should have the money early next week.
News 6 and Make Ends Meet will continue to work with the DEO to collect the additional seven weeks of missing benefits Cantwell is still entitled to.
If you have an unemployment issue, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or text the words “make ends meet” with your unemployment issue to 407-676-7428.