“It’s tough out here and we need our money,” Oklahomans line up outside OESC office after unemployment debit cards disabled

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “It’s tough out here and we need our money,” said one Oklahoman Benjamin Casteel. 

Casteel was just one of over 100 people lined up at the OESC office on Lincoln Blvd. Monday morning. 

Many were frustrated after realizing their unemployment debit card account was unexpectedly disabled

“It’s mentally draining,” said another man in line, Charles Edward Dillahunty III. 

Out-of-work Oklahomans saying they need the money for rent, gas, and to put food on the table. 

“It’s been extremely tough and frustrating,” said Casteel. 

“My Way2Go card, they said has been fixed twice, and it has not been,” said another resident Daniel Wright. 

Wright, along with many others, is hoping to get back to work as soon as he can, but in the meantime, he’s waiting to get this issue fixed. 

“It takes a lot of time from finding jobs, it takes a lot of time from doing something productive to come out here and wait in these big lines to get this stuff done,” he said. 

The OESC saying over the weekend they’re looking into possible fraud

We reached out Monday, and Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt was not available for an on-camera interview, but sent this statement: 

“OESC is continuing to work through the fraud check process that began this weekend. While all accounts that had their Way2Go cards stopped had been flagged for some type of suspicious activity, the agency understands there is the potential that some claimants whose accounts are not fraudulent have been caught in this process.

Claimants who need to confirm their identity may call OESC’s customer service at 405-525-1500 or visit their local OESC office with their identification to unlock their accounts. In addition, for claimants waiting outside of the OESC office on Lincoln Blvd, OESC is currently setting up additional staffing to assist with their individual requests to unlock their accounts. This additional staff will be available today to assist as many claimants as possible.

All claimants who are able to confirm their identity will be able to access their accounts between 1 and 3 business days from their request.”

However, with federal benefits ending in two weeks, those in line Monday said they don’t have time to wait. 

“In two weeks, this will be over with, so these last checks, are probably just as important as the first ones,” said Casteel.

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