Victim of ID theft - covid impact needs your help

The Short Version

I lost my main source of income at the end of August, 2020. I applied for unemployment benefits, but it has been fraudulently claimed and although I've created a report to TWC fraud department, I've yet to hear anything back from them for almost 4 weeks. I'm not eligible for assistance programs, and I've been denied loans. I'm currently facing possible eviction and other stressful situations with internet and phone. Though I have food and other necessities, it is limited and running out.

The Long Version

Hey folks, my name is Joshua Alday! I'm an entrepreneur working on some cool stuff with my company, Strawchild Games. We've been working on a new webcomics platform called Theatre Comics, and we're excited to show more about that. But this year has been filled with ups and downs.

Due to the current covid19 environment, I had lost my main source of income at the end of August, 2020. I had enough funds to keep me going for a while, but things did not work out the way I expected. Being a software engineer, I've meet a lot of great people who were helping me with offers to great positions, so I felt confident of recovering. It's not uncommon for offers to take a week or two, but time passed with no updates. It came to where I needed to start seeking more offers. At this moment, I'm still waiting to hear back from potential offers, and still inquiring with other companies. It appears that I'm not the only one who's been recently affected. But now I needed to explore my options to keep me going financially, and that's when I noticed the start of my emergency.

I went to apply for unemployment benefits on the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), but found that when I put my social security number in, it asked for a pin number as if I had already supplied one. This was curious, I don't remember ever creating a pin, but perhaps there was something else going on. So I called the TWC Unemployment Benefits line. I was able to get my account pulled up, but the address and bank account were not mine! My benefits have been fraudulently claimed, evidently you only need a SSN to make a valid claim... "Well, this sucks," I thought. "But hopefully we can get this cleared up quickly with the fraud department." Boy was I naïve. I put in a fraud claim through email and through the portal. I provided my information that should have cleared this up quickly,  or so I thought. It's been almost 4 weeks since I put in my claims, and I've yet to receive any kind of response. No phone call, no text, no email. I've called several different departments and tried to get something to move, but nothing has helped. The longer this goes on, the more my bills stack and the more stressed out I become. My benefits would have allowed me to pay my bills, rent, food and such for enough time for my new opportunities to pan out into an offer. But without it, I'm now worried about keeping my internet on, a roof over my head, and food in the fridge. There were other possible benefits I could have taken advantage of, but I feel into an unfortunate category.

I made too much this year... Or perhaps too little? Being a software engineer means that I tend to get jobs that pay more than average jobs. This is great since it means financially I can do more in life. My dream was to start my own company that creates games and other interactive projects, such as Theatre Comics. So I spent a percentage of my own money to bootstrap Strawchild Games. Throughout 2020, I spent roughly 2000 USD monthly for part time artist, writers, and developers to work on projects. I felt confident that this could be maintained. But then covid19 got worse, people started moving indoors and my own position was becoming instable. When I lost my job back in August 2020, I had saved up money to help me get by in case of emergencies, but my continued contracts throughout the year meant that I did not have a lot saved up. After I saw that my Unemployment Benefits would not be helpful, I sought out other assistance programs, like RENT from the Austin government. But I made too much this year to qualify. In fact, a lot of programs that could have been useful to me are not available because I made too much. My next and last hope were loans.

I've tried applying for loans, it's the last thing I want to do, but I was left with no choice. These loans would be temporary, and just enough to get me to the next month and when I picked up an offer, I'd be able to pay it off quickly and get back to some normalcy. But this was also a dead end. While I have a decent credit score, the fact that I had no income at all has made all credit unions and lenders give me a hard pass. The funny part is, if I had my unemployment benefits, it would have been more likely to get a loan if I needed. Now it's between this, friends, family... Or payday loans that could potentially ruin any credit I have.

So with no access to my benefits, assistance programs closed off to me, and loans taking a pass, I'm left to here. As some of you know already, I don't like asking for financial help. I feel bad because I know everyone else is having financial issues right along with me. So I'm only asking for those who can help without putting themselves in risky positions, and I'm only asking for that which will put me through this and next month.

What I'm asking for

I'm asking for at least 5000 USD. This will cover my bills for November, and December. My internet, phone, utilities, rent, and food. By helping me with December, it will ensure I'll be able to land firmly into a position without having to stress out about getting evicted. If you're curious about anything, please ask and I'll answer. If you donate, you have my thanks, and if there is anything you need you only need to ask and I'll try my best to accommodate.
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