LeeCARES tells applicants they’ve been approved when they haven’t yet

Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

While tens of millions have struggled to access federal funds to help them in relief of the coronavirus, the Lee County assistance website is surprisingly easy to access and navigate through.

“It’s like I gotta beat this many people” is the mindset Courtney Attardo has when she’s applied for rent and utility assistance. And later Tuesday evening she got an email saying she’d been approved. Except, she hasn’t.

“The system kicked out an email that said you have been approved, but it really meant that your application was accepted,” Commissioner Brian Hamman said.

That’s right: The Lee County system was telling people they’d been approved for their funds except that it just meant their application had been received.

So unfortunately for Attardo, the $1,800 she applied for isn’t on the way to her utility company or her landlord.

“As of yet, there are no final approvals for any of the applications,” Hamman said. But “If someone still thinks they’re incorrectly denied, they can appeal that decision.”

About 12,000 people have begun the application process for Lee Cares funds. About 4,000 are complete and soon will be processed. Payments may begin going out as early as next week.

More than 100 parents have already applied for childcare assistance.

Lee County has already delivered over 43,000 masks as part of childcare assistance. In addition, the county has delivered 200 personal care kits per day.

While Attardo may be frustrated by her false approval, she’s still hopeful.

The system closed at 5 p.m. Friday and will reopen Monday at 8 a.m.

MORE: LeeCARES website

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