By Karen Morfitt

FLORENCE, Colo. (CBS4) – Raising three boys, David Turner knows life is a lot of work. For years he’s been able to make ends meet in Colorado and take care of his family working as a handyman where they live in Florence.

When the pandemic hit, he says, everything changed.

(credit: CBS)

“I’m somebody who comes in and paints your house, or replaces your sink, puts in a new hot water tank. They don’t want me in their house right now, so literally money has stopped,” Turner said.

When he realized COVID-19 restrictions would be long-lasting, he made the decision to apply for help.

“I have never been on unemployment my entire life,” he said.

Self-employed, he applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, benefits that were implemented under the CARES Act. Initially he was able to receive some benefits, enough to catch up on bills. Then, in July, he got a message from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment that his payments were on hold. He has been trying to verify his identity to the state ever since.

“Now we want a picture of your driver’s license, a picture of myself holding my driver’s license and a picture of a bill at my address,” he said of the second request for verification.

David Turner

David Turner (credit: CBS)

Since completing what he thought was the last step in October he’s heard nothing, and payments still have yet to resume.

“Every day it’s ‘OK, how am I going to feed these kids?’ So I’ll go hungry for four days to make sure my kids can eat for the four days,” Turner said.

He’s now trying to find solutions on his own, and believes the state’s fraud protection system may be flagging and stopping legitimate claims that then take months to resolve and leave families in need with no one to turn to.

“Why can’t I show up at one of those places with my identification, and they can log into a computer and verify he is who he says he is?” he asked.

If the issue doesn’t get worked out soon, and with no work to be found in his small town, he says he’s running out of options.

(credit: CBS)

“Pretty much the state just turned their back on us, you know? What I mean is we are literally starving. (We) can’t pay our bills and are going to be sleeping under bridges. I don’t know what else to do,” he said.

According to a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, 85% of PUA is fraud and unfortunately in their attempt to address rampant fraud there are some claims tha get caught up in the holds.

CDLE plans to hold a meeting Friday morning with more information on current unemployment numbers and any current issues they’re working to address.

Karen Morfitt

Comments (11)
  1. TekEnRoute says:

    What’s sad is colorado is doing this to a lot of people. I am a single father who lost almost everything due to covid. I had applied for the PUA benefits and received them up until 5 weeks ago. They all of a sudden just cut off payments saying that I was up for a review, how long will the review last? No one knows. They won’t tell me anything. Won’t give me any information. Polis is a joke, he has the power to stop this but he refuses to even acknowledge the situation. Soon I will have to give up my car because I can’t make the payments. Just think, I started the year with a successful business, now my 11 year old son and I can barely eat…what a joke.. Thanks Colorado, thanks Polis, you’re a joke!

  2. Kim says:

    The Colorado socialists want to own you. I am going to your gofundme now. Best of luck.

  3. Laramie W Reece, MSgt, USAF (Ret) says:

    I just spoke to Mr. Turner and he gave me permission to start a Go Fund me page. I will be starting that tonight so he can get his car out of pawn that has all his tools and he can get around again ($735). I am taking food and some stuff for the kids tomorrow. Please donate and help me help this man.

  4. Laramie W Reece says:

    Can someone please set something up.? If nothing else, I am willing to do everything, If Mr. Turner is willing to provide his contact info, I will start a GoFundme and also have Contacted Denver 7 helps! If Karen Morfoitt can provide his information, if he’s willing, I will BE MORE THAN WILLING TO GET HELP STARTED FOR THIS MAN AND HID CHILDREN. I am a retired military, 100% disabled veteran, so I am happy to help those in need, as I know how it is to need help.

  5. Janice Childress says:

    Maybe we should all be calling our state legislatures and making our voices heard. I believe that there are a LOT more people experiencing what David Turner is.

    1. Janice Childress says:

      I am in exactly the same boat. 8 weeks on hold payment. I have proven my identity twice now and was put on hold again with the same request as David talks about in the video. I am not complaining, yet, seeking other people dealing with this to speak out. I am not fraudulent, like David, this is the first time in my life on unemployment. I would rather work and seek work like a rabid squirrel every day so that I can put this nightmare behind me!

  6. Debra L Kaplan says:

    We too would like to help, food drive, etc. please let us know how we can assist.

  7. Rose says:

    I cant pitch in much but I would like to help with something.

  8. Laramie W Reece says:

    I agree, let’s get a fund set up so we can help this man out and stop his children from starving! Then email the governor and get him involved. Please let me know how we can get some food and money to help this man since our government can’t do it’s own job!

  9. Anna domroese says:

    Is there a go fund me type of account for the Florence anm (David Turner) trying to feed his family?

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