“I got ripped off,” Metro man claims he’s missing $1,900 in unemployment benefits

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A metro man says his 1099 form confirmed OESC shorted him unemployment money months ago. With nowhere to turn, he says it was time to call KFOR for help. 

“There’s no accountability whatsoever,” James Goree said. 

James Goree tells KFOR he woke up Monday morning still fed up and feeling the weight of the past year. 

“I had a good job before COVID,” Goree said. 

The 61-year-old says he was laid off from the oil field after two decades. Goree filed for unemployment over the summer, but Goree says to this day, the numbers still do not add up. 

“This individual that helped me at OESC said there said there was over $5,500 coming,” Goree said. 

Goree’s 1099 form came in the mail early February. The form revealed Goree’s unemployment compensation was $5,695. 

However, Goree says his “Card 2 Go” account showed only $3,816. The difference – around $1,900. 

On Goree’s 1099 form, $740 was taken out due to state and federal taxes. However, Goree says that still leaves a discrepancy of $1,139. 

“The 1099 form is just proof that I got ripped off,” Goree said. 

“You can challenge these 1099s through the tax process,” tax attorney Travis Watkins said. 

According to metro tax attorney Travis Watkins, 2020’s problems are rolling over into 2021’s tax season. 

“Don’t list more than what you have received,” Watkins said. “For example, a fraud victim would be zero dollars, and for this victim, it would be $3,816.”

Goree says he’s called the “Card 2 Go” company and OESC multiple times but has never been helped. Now, he tells KFOR he’s worried he’s not alone. 

“I hope there is other people,” Goree said. “Call into Channel 4. I pray there’s not more people, but if there is, there is something really going wrong.” 

KFOR reached out to OESC Monday. A spokesperson replied, “They cannot comment on specific claims like they previously did in 2020”. After further conversation, the spokesperson did say they are glad to meet with James directly to clarify the error. 

OESC released a full statement reading:

OESC’s top priority is helping claimants get the benefits they need, and the agency has a specialized team dedicated to providing resolutions for claimants who might be experiencing trouble with their claim or benefits. Redirecting claimants from established agency processes does not allow for fair and equal access to the agency’s resources. OESC values fairness and is dedicated to providing all Oklahomans the help they need. For these reasons, claimants need to go through the established process versus accessing OESC through media outreach. 

OESC has set up a special hotline for individuals who have questions or need assistance with their 1099-G tax forms, at 405-521-6099. All 1099-G tax forms were mailed to claimants at the end of January and all 1099-G forms are available for claimants online starting today.

If a claimant is experiencing an issue with their claim, please direct them to call OESC (405-525-1500), use the virtual agent tool or ask them to visit one of OESC’s local offices.

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