What Is Expected Of Me As I Receive Benefits And How Long Will I Receive Them
You will need to file every two weeks to remain eligible. During this time, you must look for, and be available for full-time employment. The state requires you to keep a log of your job hunting activities. The expectations are that you will contact at least 5 employers each week inquiring about job opportunities and applying as available. You must also complete an online skills assessment. The state requires you to accept suitable work as you find it.
Floridians Unable To Work Due To Covid
Emilee Speck, Digital journalist
Many people are unable to work due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While there are state and federal measures coming to help those impacted financially, in the more immediate future people can file for unemployment benefits.
The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday more than 74,000 Floridians applied for unemployment benefits last week, a tenfold increase from the previous week, as the spread of the novel coronavirus shut down the states theme parks and visitors stayed away from its hotels and airports.
Across the U.S., nearly 3.3 million workers applied for jobless benefits– – more than quadruple the previous record set in 1982.
In Florida these benefits are called reemployment assistance and are designed to help people who are recently unemployed because they were laid of, fired or if they left their employer.
Persons who were furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19 should file for these benefits as soon as possible. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released information about filing for reemployment benefits amid the pandemic.
Note: The website and hotlines in Florida are backlogged and many people are reporting hours-long wait times or they are unable to log in to file. The DOE is working to hire more staff and add more servers to handle the increased demand.
Am I Eligible For Unemployment Benefits
- In order to be eligible to claim unemployment benefits in Florida, the state requires you to meet certain criteria. This includes:
- Your income has been reduced to $275 or less per week through no fault of your own.
- You are able to work and actively seeking employment.
- Your previous earnings meet the minimum requirements.
In assessing whether your previous income meets the minimum standard for unemployment, the Department of Economic Opportunity will look at your total earnings over the base period . To qualify, you will need to have received income for a minimum of two quarters in the base period, and have earned a minimum of $3400 over all quarters. Additionally, the total amount earned over the base period must be at least 1.5 times what you earned during your highest-earning quarter.
Applications should be filed online using the CONNECT system. If this is the first claim youve ever made, you will need to select the File a New Claim link and then follow the prompts to create a profile and file your claim. If you have previously submitted a claim, log onto the portal using your Social Security number and PIN . If you are unable to access the online application, you can download a Florida Reemployment Assistance Application and mail to:
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What Is An Offer Of Suitable Employment And How Is It Connected To Unemployment Insurance Eligibility
Most state unemployment insurance laws include language defining suitable employment. Typically, suitable employment is connected to the previous jobs wage level, type of work, and the claimants skills.
Refusing an offer of suitable employment without good cause will often disqualify individuals from continued eligibility for unemployment compensation.
For example, if an individuals former employer calls the individual back to work after having temporarily laid the individual off for reasons related to COVID-19, the individual would very likely have to accept the offer to return to work, or jeopardize his or her eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits, absent some extenuating circumstance, such as if the individual tested positive for COVID-19. The job an individual held before the spread of COVID-19 will constitute, in the vast majority of cases, suitable employment for purposes of unemployment insurance eligibility.
How To File An Unemployment Claim In Florida
You must file your claim for benefits online. You can do so at the state’s CONNECT site.
Once it reviews your application, the agency will send you a Wage Transcript and Determination Notice, indicating whether you meet the monetary eligibility requirements for unemployment . If you meet these eligibility requirements, an agency adjudicator will determine whether you meet the other eligibility requirements and will send you a second determination notice. If your claim is granted, you will have to request payment every two weeks, either online or by phone, and meet ongoing eligibility requirements .
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How To File Weekly Claim
Online: By logging onto connect.myflorida.com, you will be able to make a claim in minutes. As a beginner you will be asked to read through pages of information that will assist you in filing the claim. We suggest that you read the key points in these pages instead of skipping them.
Via One Stop Career Center: If you have any questions on filing or need a computer to file, visit the nearest center for support by representatives.
Following claims will not require registration. You can provide the User Id and Password to log in and make weekly claims.
Note: The first week you file is considered as a Waiting Week and no benefits will be paid out during this week. Once the claim is accepted, it takes about 3 to 4 weeks for your claim to be processed. Subsequently, weekly claims do not take much time to be processed and disbursed.
How Can I Apply
Getting your application started is easy. The quickest way to start it is online through the CONNECT portal. If youre not able to apply online, you can also call the agency at 1-800-681-8102.
Youll need to provide some key details, including
- Your name, address and phone number
- Your Social Security number
- Your drivers license number or state ID number
- The name, address and phone number of each employer you worked for within the past 18 months
- Your first and last day of work for each job you worked in the past 18 months
- Your gross earnings from each job
- The reason for losing your job
- Your employers tax ID number, or FEIN, which can be found on the W-2 or 1099 form you received from the employer
You may also need to provide additional details in some cases. For example, if youre a union member, youll need to provide your union name, hall number and phone number.
After you submit your application, keep an eye out. The department may email you or send out a letter requesting more details. The sooner you respond, the sooner your claim can be processed.
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Other Types Of Benefits And Programs For The Unemployed
Federal agencies offer many unemployment education and training programs. They are generally free or low cost to the unemployed.
Self-employment assistance programs help unemployed workers start their own small businesses. Delaware, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, and Oregon offer this program.
Are You Available And Actively Searching For Work
To maintain your eligibility for unemployment compensation, you must be able to work, available to accept a job, and looking for work. If you are offered a suitable position, you must accept it. You must also keep a written record of your work search contacts, which the agency may ask you to submit at any time.
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How Does Vacation Pay Or Holiday Pay Affect My Eligibility To Receive Unemployment Benefits In California
If you were given a definite return-to-work date at the time you were laid off, we may deduct vacation or holiday pay from your benefits.
If you are not given a definite return-to-work date, any vacation or holiday pay you receive when your job ends is not deducted from your weekly benefit amount.
If you are given a definite return-to-work date, any vacation or holiday pay for the period of the temporary layoff is deducted from your benefits. We will allocate your vacation and holiday pay as follows:
Vacation pay will be allocated to match the number of days you requested vacation, or the number of days your employer required you to use as vacation during the temporary layoff. Holiday pay that is paid before you return to work will be allocated to match the holiday weeks. Holiday pay that is paid after you return to work will be allocated to match the week that you return to work.
I Run A Nonprofit Organization And Am A Reimbursing Employer Under My States Unemployment Insurance Program Due To The Economic Impacts Of The Covid
Contact your state unemployment insurance office to learn what options may be available for delaying reimbursement payments. The CARES Act allows states to provide maximum flexibility to reimbursing employers as it relates to timely payments in lieu of contributions and assessment of penalties and interest. The U.S. Department of Labor will soon be issuing guidance on how states should implement this provision.
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Is Florida Extending Unemployment Benefits
The bill extends : The maximum number of weeks individuals may receive unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 50 weeks. All unemployment assistance , including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation , from Dec. 26, 2020 to March 14, 2021. 7
How Do I File For Unemployment Benefits In Florida
Before you apply for Florida unemployment benefits, you will need to have the following information available to support your claim. Florida unemployment application requirements include:
- Social Security number
- Contact information for each of your employers for the past 18 months
- The dates you worked for each employer for the past 18 months
- The amount of wages you earned from each employer for the past 18 months
- The amount of pre-tax wages you earned for the current week starting at 12:01 am on Sunday which starts your first week of filing a claim for unemployment
- A drivers license or some other form of proof of identity
- The name and local number of your labor union hall if you are a member of a labor union
- Your Alien Registration Number and work permit expiration date if you are not a U.S. citizen
- A DD-214 if you were a member of the military within the past two years
- Your SF-50 or SF-8 and check stubs or W2 proof of earnings if you were a federal employee
- If you want your benefits deposited directly into your bank account, you will need a check or a deposit slip
To assure that you begin receiving benefits in a timely manner, you should start your claims process within one week after losing your job. When your application is finished will determine when you will be able to start receiving benefits. Claims always begin on the Sunday prior to the day you complete and submit your application.
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Maintain Your Eligibility For Unemployment Benefits By Following The Below:
- Review your monetary determination.
- Review your Home page in CONNECT.
- Normally, you would also be expected to:
- Register for work through Employ Florida.
- Keep a record of your weekly job contracts.
- However, in light of the current COVID-19 situation, both requirements have been suspended until at least May 2, 2020.
- The biweekly actively seeking work reporting requirement has also been suspended until further notice.
What Do I Have To Do To Keep Receiving Unemployment Benefits
Once the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity approves your application, you still have to do the following things to remain eligible for your unemployment benefits:
- Remain unemployed or underemployed, which typically means earning less than what you would receive in unemployment benefits .
- Be able and available to work.
- Be actively looking for work.
- You must file with the Florida DEO to continue to receive unemployment benefits.
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Contacting Your Local Job Center
Local job centers — sometimes called One-Stop Career Centers or American Job Centers –can help you with cover letters, resumes, and job search efforts. Some job centers may provide assistance in filing for unemployment benefits. You may be required to register with a job center as part of your ongoing obligation to look for work while collecting benefits.
Contact your job center to find out about services and availability. Although some job centers provide unemployment services , others offer only job search assistance. And, some centers are closed, have limited hours, or are available only online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Call or email your local job center to find out about their offerings.
When Do My Benefits End
Your benefits may end for multiple reasons. Keep in mind that these are rules that typically apply states may change benefit maximums and restrictions during times of economic crisis.
- You may get a new job. If you find work, your Reemployment Assistance benefits will end starting on the week you began your new position.
- You reach your maximum number of benefit weeks for the year. If you dont get a new job within 12 weeks, your benefits will end. Its also important to note that this is your maximum for the entire year. For example, you could split it up and get six weeks of unemployment now and six weeks of unemployment later in the year if you lose your job again. But if you claim 12 weeks of Reemployment Assistance now, you wont be eligible for the rest of the year. The state of Florida doesnt have any provisions for extending your unemployment benefits beyond 12 weeks if youre still out of work. Instead, its website directs you to dial 211 to get ahold of United Way for more help.
- You reach your maximum benefit amount. The state limit for the maximum amount of unemployment insurance you can receive in a year is $3,300.
- You fail to meet requirements for continuing eligibility.
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Do You Meet The Minimum Earnings Requirement
Virtually all states look at your recent work history and earnings during a one-year “base period” to determine your eligibility for unemployment. In Florida, as in most states, the base period is the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed your claim for benefits. For example, if you filed your claim in October of 2021, the base period would be from June 1, 2020, through May 31, 2021.
During the base period, your work history and earnings must meet all three of these requirements:
- You must have been paid wages in at least two of the four calendar quarters that make up the base period.
- Your earnings during the entire base period must be at least one-and-a-half times your wages in the highest paid quarter of the base period. For example, if you earned $5,000 during your highest paid quarter, your total earnings for the base period year must be at least $7,500.
- You must have earned at least $3,400 during the entire base period.
Unemployment Benefits In Florida During The Covid
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill known as the American Rescue Plan . The law extended a $300 per week federal unemployment supplement until September 6, 2021. However, the state of Florida decided to end this supplement early on June 26, 2021, citing labor shortages. That means the unemployment supplement is no longer available in Florida.
ARP also extended two unemployment programs originally created by the CARES Act in March 2020: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation .
Under the PUA program, self-employed workersusually excluded from unemployment benefitsare entitled to unemployment if they meet certain criteria. ARP makes PUA benefits available through Labor Day 2021, and increases the maximum duration of these benefits from 50 to 79 weeks.
The PEUC program provides for a federally-funded extension of benefits when state unemployment benefits expire. ARP increases the maximum duration of PEUC benefits from 24 to 53 weeks, with an expiry date of September 4, 2021.
For up-to-date information on Florida’s rules on unemployment eligibility and amounts during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the state’s main unemployment page for claimants.
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Points To Keep In Mind Before Filing An Unemployment Insurance Claim
- Its advisable to initiate the claim to receive unemployment compensation during the first week of your unemployment.
- Claims can be filed online on the departments portal and at dedicated centers.
- Use resources that help you understand the procedure and documentation. Keep information handy before initiating a claim.
- If youre receiving severance pay after separation from work, you will still be eligible to make claims. File one during the first week of total or partial unemployment.
- After you file, you will be required to wait for about 3-4 weeks before you receive the first payment. If there are issues with your paperwork, the representatives will come back to you.
- Post approval, youre required to file weekly and claim benefits for the approved weeks. These payments are disbursed quickly unlike the initial claim.
How To Apply For Unemployment Compensation In Florida
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In Florida, unemployment compensation is called reemployment assistance, and youll qualify if you have earned sufficient income in the 18 months before you are unemployed. The easiest way to find out if you qualify is to apply. You must apply online, but gather required information ahead of time so the process is as smooth as possible.
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