TAMPA (FOX 13) - A veteran got the surprise of his life at the worst possible time. When he went to file for unemployment, he found out that someone has been using his Social Security number.
And now, he says it's blocking him from getting benefits that rightfully belong to him.
Incredibly, Jason Stambaugh wouldn't have even known someone was using his Social Security number if he hadn't gotten fired. When he went to file for unemployment, records showed someone in south Florida was posing as him.
When 9/11 happened, Stambaugh was living near Washington, D.C. and knew he had to help.
"I wanted to go help my country, to serve our country, and get these terrorists," he said.
He enlisted in the Navy and was honorably discharged in 2007, and then moved to Florida with his wife, Stacey.
Last week, he lost his job and filed for unemployment.
"Being a parent, taking care of your little ones, making sure they have what they need and support your family," he said.
"That is a benefit entitled to an American," Stacey Stambaugh added. "Right now, I am the major breadwinner, and I only work part time."
But as far as the unemployment office was concerned, he has a job. In fact, records show he worked five jobs this year. The warehouse from which he was fired is one. The other four are construction companies in Miami.
"There is no way possible," he said. "I am here in Tampa."
Turns out, it appears someone has been giving those employers Jason's Social Security number, and working for them, earning $10,000 this year.
"I have no idea how this happened," Stacey said.
Amazingly, they'd have had no idea someone was earning money on his Social Security number unless he'd been fired.
"I don't know what goes through someone's mind when they take someone's identity," Stacey said. "I don't think he knows exactly what he is affecting."
For two days, they have been calling a bevy of local, state and federal authorities in hopes of cleaning this up. They can't get unemployment or Medicaid until then.
"It is not like we are going to be on it for a lifetime," Stacey said. "We just need the help until we can get on our feet again."
Now, Jason Stambaugh needs his country to step up for him.
"[I am] just trying to make sure I get bills paid, food on the table," he said.
The Stambaughs said they were contacted by the state unemployment office Wednesday evening, following calls from FOX 13 News, and were told the office would be clearing the other employers from his record. They will now reconsider his eligibility.