WASHINGTON, Mo. – Missouri is still trying to collect unemployment funds handed out during the pandemic. This time, a man from Washington, Missouri, contacted FOX 2 to spotlight his problem, shared by so many others still trying to recover from the COVID crisis.

David Wilmoth is in the same boat as tens of thousands of Missourians. The state is demanding he repay thousands of unemployment dollars paid to him during the COVID pandemic. In his case, the state is asking for $16,000.

Money he doesn’t have.

“Well, I called you. And other than that, I cried a little bit,” Wilmoth said. “I didn’t do anything wrong; I didn’t lie to anyone; I didn’t misrepresent myself; I just did what they asked me to do.”

Wilmoth said he was laid off during the pandemic and received unemployment. But in an unusual move, he said his former employer came back to the unemployment office a year later and told officials that he wasn’t laid off of the car salesman job but that he quit.

After that, he was found ineligible for the unemployment money. He was informed of the change and told he could appeal, but said he never got that letter.

“I asked why was (my former employer) allowed to come a year later and say this guy actually quit, he wasn’t laid off. They said, ‘Oh, we were behind,’” Wilmoth said.

He appealed the decision, but lost. Wilmoth is hoping someone in authority steps in to help.

FOX 2 reached out to the state unemployment office, but we have not heard back.

“Where am I supposed to come up with $16,000?” Wilmoth said.