In the State of Florida, the program that issues unemployment benefits and insurance is known as Reemployment assistance. The Reemployment assistance program helps the individuals who are currently unemployed after losing their job or had their hours cut down. Such individuals can file a claim for unemployment benefits in Florida. The help, however, may be monetary and the condition is that your unemployment must not be because of your own fault.
Florida amends Reemployment Assistance Program
As times have become tough for many people across the country due to the current pandemic, the state of Florida has made some amendments to the rules that govern the Reemployment assistance program.
According to the new rules governing the Reemployment assistance program, the benefits will now be extended to the people who were working as freelance contractors and self-employed workers. Other requirements have also been removed such as the one-week waiting period which was previously required after the benefits were approved to get your payment.
The State of Florida also has made some adjustments and user interface changes to its website so that not only would it be a lot more accessible to the people on their mobile but also be able to handle the massive traffic, which is caused by the current unemployment and economic situation.
Florida reemployment assistance
The Government under the state of Florida aims to assist its citizens who have found themselves unemployed through no fault of their own, to receive benefits that are temporary in nature and job assistance resources. This comprehensive guide will go through each and every aspect of the program and guide you on the eligibility requirements, the benefit payments, and the process through which an individual can apply for it.
The eligibility criteria for unemployment benefits
To meet the requirements necessary for Unemployment assistance, here is what is expected of the applicant:
- The Individual must have lost their job through no fault of their own. The people who have quit must have not done so for reasons that are personal in nature and must have had done so as a last resort to a condition that was affecting them severely. The Applicant must not have been terminated from their job because of Conduct that is malicious and can be labeled as misconduct. However, not being a “good fit” at the company and lacking skill and performance does not count for disqualification.
- The Individually must be either fully or partially out of work. Partially means that the individual is currently working as a part-time worker and not able to find additional work. Having your hours cut will also qualify you as partially unemployed.
- An income threshold during the base period must have been reached. This threshold currently sits at 3400 dollars before taxes. The base period consists of the earliest four quarters out of five from the time of when you filed your application.
- The Individual who is currently out of work must actively be looking for employment and also be able to accept any job role at a moment’s notice.
You can determine your eligibility by filing your application online.
Are furloughed workers eligible to receive unemployment benefits?
Furloughed Workers can be defined as individuals who are put on mandatory unpaid leave from their place of employment. If an Individual is Furloughed then they can apply to receive unemployment benefits from the state of Florida. So, if you find yourself in a position where your hours were cut, you might be able to receive unemployment benefits, so one should not hesitate to apply.
Employers may even discourage some of their furloughed workers from applying stating that they will not qualify. However, they must not be discouraged to do so and your eligibility is mostly based on the earnings that one brings in a week and not in accordance with the hours that were spent working. Once your application is received, the Unemployment office will thoroughly check and determine whether or not you are eligible.
Submitting a claim
The process of submitting a claim for reemployment assistance is very simple and you will need the following things to complete your application.
- Social security number
- Drivers License or State ID number
- Your employment history in the base period must consist of:
- The names of the Employers, their addresses, and phone numbers
- The dates stating your first and last day of work
- Gross earnings are calculated before taxes in those employment durations.
- Reason for leaving the job.
- FEIN Number
There may be workers who are going to need to provide some additional information
- Alien Registration Number or Work authorization form for non-US citizens.
- Military Veterans who have served in the past 18 months must provide their DD-214 Member copy
- Former Federal Employees will be asked to produce SF 8 or SF 50
- Members belonging to a Union must give the names of their union, hall number, and phone number.
For ease of Payments afforded by the Reemployment Assistance, applicants asking for direct deposit must provide their bank account number and routing number. A request may also be filed for a Reemployment Assistance debit card.
Filing for your unemployment claim in Florida
The individual who wants to file a claim for Unemployment benefits in Florida must start doing so immediately in about a week of becoming unemployed. Your date for receiving your benefits will be determined when you finish your application. The claims go into effect from the prior Sunday when the application was finished. An example indicating that is if your application was completed on a Friday then the claims will go into effect from the Sunday before that Friday.
The Reemployment assistance claims are filed online and take somewhere around an hour to be fully processed and complete.
Assistance is also provided to people over the phone who cannot complete the application process because of any issues pertaining to disability, computer illiteracy or other valid reasons are to call 1-800-681-8102
The claim once filed will warrant a confirmation notice informing you about your claim being received by the administration. A request for benefit payments must be filed within seven days from the scheduled report date. Once the claim is reviewed by the administration and accepted, the payment will come to you within two to four weeks. The week, when the claim is filed, is known as the waiting week where no benefits are sent out. However during the current pandemic, this waiting week has been waived by the orders of the Governor of the state of Florida.
Initial Skills Review
For your own assistance to find gainful employment, the state of Florida through CareerSource has deemed mandatory, an Initial skill review examination. This examination examines the skills of an individual so that they can help with their job search. There is no pass or fail in this examination and is used only to determine the skill of an individual.
The benefits paid under the reemployment assistance program in Florida
The Benefits paid out by the state of Florida for unemployed individuals mostly differ from person to person. The only way to find what you are going to be paid under this scheme is file a claim yourself.
The State itself looks at what you were paid in your former place of employment and calculates what you should be paid in benefits. However, there is a ceiling to this payment amount and the maximum payout is 275 dollars per week for a duration of 12 weeks.
The benefits stop once you either secure gainful full-time employment or the twelve weeks are up. However, working in a part-time or a temporary capacity does not disqualify you from receiving the payments.
In the current program, no extensions are being offered to individuals. Once the time for benefits consisting of 12 weeks is up, the payments will stop.
Additional Florida unemployment benefits
There are also other programs managed under the state of Florida that aim to help people who find themselves currently out of work. They must be applied to separately and eligibility for one does not mean you will be or not be eligible for the other.
Low-income home energy assistance program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance program aims to help with federal funding to cover the cost of heating and cooling in homes that cannot afford to do so themselves. The assistance is available to all to request a maximum of three times per year. This only applies to heating and cooling and does not cover services like water, sewer, or telephone. The money is paid directly to the energy-providing companies and not the requesting households.
Weatherization assistance program
The Weatherization Assistance Program is aimed to help low-income households with home energy costs. This Federally funded program helps eligible households to replace their inefficient Air Conditioners and water heaters, installing solar screens, and many other things which will bring down energy costs. They however do not pay your energy company directly for any power a household may have consumed.
Jobs in Florida
Help to find employment
The State of Florida has been helping millions of unemployed individuals, graduates, and people who for the very first time are entering the job market through their free reemployment services. The Services are available to access using the Employ Florida website.
Claiming your Benefits
Here are the steps you need to do once your benefits are approved by the state of Florida
Setting up a personal identification number
The Individual must create a personal identification number once they have completed the application so that they would be able to login to the system to claim their benefits. The Pin must be created by the Individual themselves and is not provided to you directly.
The PIN must only be four digits long and one must not:
- Create a Pin having repeating numbers
- Create a PIN having sequential numbers
- Create a PIN out of the last four digits of your social security number
Requesting your benefit payments
The unemployment benefits may be claimed every two weeks by accessing the CONNECT system and logging in through your PIN number. The request must be made seven days prior to the scheduled reporting date.
The payment system is made out such that on Mondays, the people receiving the payments will have an even last digit on their social security number while on Tuesdays the Odd numbers will receive their payments.
Your payment may be denied if the request for payment is not made within seven days of your scheduled reporting time.
Note all work and earnings
At the time of your reporting, you must report what you have earned throughout the week. Even if the payments are not made for the work done, they must be reported to the unemployment administration. If they are not reported, this will be considered a crime and will carry a huge penalty.
Must actively be looking for work
You must be actively looking for work over the period of your unemployment benefits. The Reemployment assistance office requires the beneficiaries that they must have contacted at least five employers each week. They must log the following to be produced later on:
- The dates when the contact was made
- Method the contact was made
- The Employer’s name, address, and telephone
- The Outcome of the contact
- Type of Job sought
In case of any problems
In case of any problems with the assistance office, call the following toll-free hotline at 1-800-204-2418 so that your problem can be solved at the earliest.
Appeal Against Denial of Benefits
If for whatever reason you were deemed ineligible to receive unemployment benefits under the Florida Reemployment assistance program, you have the right to appeal that decision. You must wait until the decision regarding your denial of benefits is mailed to you after which you have an avenue to file an appeal.