Palm Coast Airbnb owner says loss of earnings forced her to fight unemployment benefits

PALM COAST, Florida – Jennifer Perry has seen her Palm Coast condominium evolve from a five-star Airbnb to a reserve victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Before COVID, I was 100% booked,” Perry told News 6. “I made most of my money between January and March and then the bottom plummeted.”

Perry said his rental income fell from $ 2,000 in March to zero in April.

[READ MORE: News 6, DEO help single mom unlock 12 weeks of unemployment benefits | News 6, DEO unlock unemployment account ‘suspended’ for 17 weeks]

“I probably dropped my prices 20-30%,” Perry said. “I manage to make ends meet by spending most of my retirement savings. This is what I am doing. “

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She applied for unemployment assistance for small businesses, but because Airbnb failed to provide a 1099 tax form, the Department of Economic Opportunities delayed her benefits and suspended her account.

Perry told News 6 that she has been waiting for some sort of financial aid for seven months.

“It’s so disheartening,” Perry said. “I paid taxes on my income, I helped the Florida economy, you know, I find myself unemployed on my own. “

Perry said she was close to retiring as a physical therapist and hoped to use Airbnb as a financial buffer for her golden years.

She is one of dozens of job seekers in the state who criticize the Ministry of Economic Opportunities’ delayed benefits response. WD employees have been reported to be complaining about a backlog of thousands of benefit claims.

“I feel like I’m exhausted,” Perry told News 6. “It’s not even a matter of frustration, I’m really exhausted.”

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DEO press secretary Paige Landrum said Perry’s case was unique.

In a statement to News 6, Landrum said in part: “Every complaint can present issues that need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. This specific complaint is currently being examined by the re-employment assistance team.

[RELATED: After 13 weeks on hold, Florida women able to access unemployment benefits | Single mom says DEO unemployment checks arrived with wrong last name]

According to Landrum, the ministry has put together a guide and video that helps applicants understand what their status in CONNECT means.

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“The ministry is also reminding claimants to continue to apply for benefits in order to receive payment,” Landrum said.

If you have an unemployment problem, email News 6 investigator Mike Holfeld and his team at [email protected]

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