Unemployed Arizonan says nearly $5,000 is still missing from her account despite judge's ruling
PHOENIX - UPDATE: Kim Smith received her money soon after this report. Read the story here.
An Arizona judge ruled that an unemployed woman should not have had $5,000 taken from her bank account by the state two months ago, so why is she still waiting to get her money back?
To get her money back, Kim Smith reached out to government agencies, elected officials and even Gov. Doug Ducey's office, whose office is now involved.
Her Bank of America account with her unemployment insurance money in it was closed in July by the Department of Economic Security (DES) along with thousands of others.
The agency thought she had a fraudulent account.
Smith has been interviewed by FOX 10 several times on her journey struggling with DES, trying to get her unemployment benefits.
DES says the agency received an unprecedented 31,000 complaints in the last year.
RELATED: House votes to raise Arizona’s low unemployment pay
Smith says she still hasn’t gotten a response from DES, but she did get a ruling from a judge on Jan. 19 of this year. The judge ruled she was owed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, including the nearly $5,000 that was taken from her bank account.
As of now, she has begun getting her unemployment again, but the $5,000 is still missing.
"My bill right now is almost $500. So then I have rent. I’m behind on 5 months," Smith said. Her storage unit with precious family photos inside now has a lien on it.
RELATED: New bill would allow thousands more Arizonans to claim unemployment benefits
So, what’s under investigation for eight months? DES says they made several changes to their complaint office to better serve the influx of clients and are still looking for ways to better respond.
Smith says she still hasn’t heard back and a spokesperson said on Monday that they cant provide information on specific cases.