July 12, 2020

Unemployment benefits wiped from accounts with no explanation


Many people receiving unemployment money from Arizona woke up Saturday to empty accounts.

Friday night, the unemployment accounts of people who received their money via a Bank of America debit card were emptied.

“It’s panic mode. It’s panic mode. People woke up this morning with no money,” said Sean Brady, who had $5,134.82 withdrawn from his account from the Arizona Department of Economic Security. “There are people in dire straights right now. That was it, that was all they had.”

Brady and others received an email at 11 p.m. local time Friday night reading their account had been closed at the request of their employer, but did not receive a warning notification.

The loss of money seemed to only affect people who currently live out of state, but file for unemployment in Arizona due to work history. Brady currently lives in Illinois.

“My money was zeroed out, I had zero dollars in my account,” said Caren Kolb, who lost $4,100. “I was just kind of panicked. How did this evaporate? Who has authorization to take it?”

Arizona Department of Economic Security released the following statement:

“DES is aware some Unemployment Insurance benefit claimants received a message today from Bank of America of a card account closure notification. We are investigating in coordination with Bank of America.”

By Adam Waltz

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