Unemployment snafu leaves Hampton man on brink of losing his home


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – When you live in subsidized housing, you can make only so much money. A document that turned up in Jim McKirdy’s lease renewal process at the Langley Square Apartments shows that he had $17,000 in unemployment benefits in 2020. He didn’t.

“My jaw dropped,” McKirdy said in a Thursday morning interview. “I was like, what are you talking about?” when he was questioned about the supposed income.

“I haven’t messed with unemployment since 2010,” he said.

However, McKirdy has the burden of proof to show that he didn’t get the money — in other words, he’s presumed guilty until he can prove his innocence.

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“They told me ‘You need to get this figured out and get back to us, because it is in violation of your lease agreement,’ and I said, ‘Oh no, this can’t be happening.'”

McKirdy tried to reach the Virginia Unemployment Commission several times and would be put on hold and then disconnected. He believes it’s a case of identity theft.

“If they say they paid that money, they paid that money to somebody,” he said.

McKirdy says whoever is using his info to collect money — and jeopardize his home — is cruel.

“They’re getting the money somehow, but in the meantime, there’s a lot of people like me that are getting the shaft,” he said.

10 On Your Side plans to alert the VEC to see what can be done to resolve McKirdy’s problem.

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