|TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) issued its weekly Reemployment Assistance updates. Daily updates can be found on the Reemployment Assistance (RA) Claims Dashboard. |
As of June 14, DEO has paid 2,388,893 claimants more than $29.6 billion ($29,624,674,137). Over 5.5 million (5,523,525) unique claims have been processed, representing 99.1 percent of unique claims submitted. 97.3 percent of all eligible benefits requested prior to May 21, 2021, for state Reemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have been paid to claimants. Additionally, 99.9 percent of all eligible benefits requested by claimants for weeks of unemployment prior to July 25, 2020, have also received their corresponding Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits for that week.
If a claimant has not received benefits or all of the benefits they believe they are entitled to, they should:
* Check that they have requested benefits;
* Check that the weeks they are requesting are eligible weeks;
* and Check that their account information in CONNECT is up-to-date and accurate.
If a claimant needs additional assistance, they should call the Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-833-FL-APPLY or visit the Reemployment Assistance Help Center, here. DEO would like to remind claimants that it is important to continue requesting benefits to receive payment. This video and guide may be helpful.
Work Search and Work Registration Requirements
DEO is aware that some claimants are experiencing challenges with entering their required work searches when requesting their weekly benefit Reemployment Assistance payments in CONNECT. DEO is working diligently to address these issues for claimants and apologizes for any inconveniences this has caused. DEO encourages claimants to enter their required work searches if prompted in CONNECT.
All claimants, unless otherwise exempt, are now required to submit work searches for every week of state or federal benefits requested. For a step-by-step guide on submitting required work searches, click here. Additionally, all new claimants, unless otherwise exempt, must complete the work registration requirement through Employ Florida. Click here to view instructions on how to register with Employ Florida. An accurate work search record may include, but is not limited to, registering for work and reemployment services with a local CareerSource Center, completing a job application in person or online, mailing a job application or resume, making in-person visits with potential employers, interviewing with potential employers, or registering for work with employment or placement agencies to name a few.
Click here for a list of options claimants can consider to meet the work search requirement for each week. To determine how many work searches you will be required to complete, click here.
For a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the work search and work registration requirements, click here.
Federal Reemployment Assistance Benefits
Florida will end its participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, the $300 per week supplemental FPUC payment, effective June 26, 2021, as part of DEO’s ‘Return to Work’ initiative.In addition, as Florida opted out of the FPUC program, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) is requiring that Florida end its participation in the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, effective June 26, 2021. The additional federal Reemployment Assistance benefit programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) will continue for the time being as DEO continues to carefully monitor job posting and industry hiring trends. These additional federal benefit programs are set to expire on September 6, 2021. For more information, click here.
DEO issued Emergency Order 21-015 to continue waiving the waiting week requirement through June 26, 2021.
Florida has more than 460,000 jobs available across various employment websites and job listing services. One of these is Employ Florida, which is a resource for claimants to view and apply to thousands of jobs available throughout the state. DEO also encourages existing claimants to create an account and register at Employ Florida. Employ Florida is a great online resource for claimants to utilize when searching for a job. DEO is also hiring across the state. To view a list of vacant opportunities and apply to work at DEO, click here. DEO is also encouraging Floridians who are interested in learning a new career path or need assistance looking for employment, to turn to CareerSource Florida for assistance. CareerSource Florida can help job seekers explore new employment opportunities, provide workforce and job-training skills, and provide career advancement assistance. Click here to find your local CareerSource center.
If an individual is not eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance benefits, there are additional resources readily available to Floridians and their families. DEO, in partnership with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), provide additional opportunities and resources for Florida families who need additional assistance. Resources include food assistance for low-income households, medical assistance, and temporary financial assistance to families who qualify. For more information, click here.
On May 7, 2021, Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 1463 into law, which will help expedite the processing of Reemployment Assistance claims. Specifically, this bill modifies the amount of time the employer has to respond to the Department’s request for information – “Notice of Claim Filed” (document UCB 412) – to 14 calendar days after the distribution date, previously this was 20 days.
Individuals not returning to work when work is available or do not show good cause in refusing an offer of work could potentially be disqualified from receiving Reemployment Assistance benefits. This also applies to the federal benefit programs authorized under the CARES Act and Continued Assistance Act. If a prospective employee refuses an offer to work, employers can report this refusal to work through the Reemployment Assistance Help Center.
Florida’s reemployment tax rate computation for 2021 was recently revised as a result of a new law. For more information, click here. DEO has developed additional guides for employers to better understand how to navigate the CONNECT system. To view these guides, click here.
Identity Verification and Identity Theft
DEO has recently provided claimants the option to verify their identity through ID.me, if they have a “locked” claim status.If a claimant has already verified their identity through ID.me, the claimant does not need to re-verify their claim. However, you may be prompted to login to ID.me using multifactor authentication throughout the Reemployment Assistance claims process.If the claimant has a “locked” claim status, the link to verify their identity can be found on their CONNECT homepage. For more information about ID.me, click here.
DEO also provided an identity theft toolkit which details what Floridians should do if they are a victim of identity theft and steps they should take to mitigate fraudulent activity on their account. To view the identity theft toolkit, clickhere.Any new claimant filing for Reemployment Assistance will need to verify their identity through ID.me. For more information about ID.me visit the claimant resource page, here.
DEO launched an online fraud form providing Floridians the opportunity to report instances of Reemployment Assistance fraud or identity theft. If someone is aware of any instance of Reemployment Assistance fraud or believes they are a victim of Reemployment Assistance identity theft, please click here and select the “Online Fraud Form” to provide the Department with additional information about fraudulent claims.
Any new state Reemployment Assistance claims filed January 1, 2021, and forward are eligible for up to 19 weeks of benefits instead of 12 weeks of benefits.
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
As a result of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, PEUC and PUA benefit programs have been extended to September 6, 2021. FPUC, which provides an additional $300 for eligible claimants, will expire on June 26, 2021. DEO has recently incorporated the Department of Labor’s guidance on the expansion of PUA eligibility for claimants. When claimants request their benefit payments, they should now be able to review the expanded eligibility provisions in their CONNECT account.
Claimants should continue to request their benefit payments as weeks become available in their CONNECT account if they remain unemployed. DEO encourages individuals to continue checking their CONNECT account every 48 hours for additional updates or notifications from the Department.
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) is a federally funded program that provides an additional $100 per week to eligible individuals in addition to the benefits they are currently receiving. MEUC is not available to claimants who are currently receiving PUA benefits.Claimants may be eligible for MEUC if they have received at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment for the tax year prior to their initial claim.MEUC benefits are in addition to the $300 supplemental FPUC benefit program, which expires on June 26, 2021.
DEO recently began issuing MEUC payments to eligible claimants. Information about MEUC payments can be found under “View and Maintain Account Information” in CONNECT.Eligible claimants can apply for MEUC benefits here. For information on how to apply for MEUC, click here.
DEO will be conducting nightly maintenance to the CONNECT system to process claims and payments. CONNECT’s regularly scheduled hours are from 8 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. daily, Monday – Friday.Beginning Saturday, June 19, through Sunday, June 20, CONNECT will be unavailable to claimants while the Department works to continue to process payments, and send necessary correspondence to claimants. CONNECT will be available Monday, June 21, at 8:00 a.m.This schedule does not affect individuals who wish to file a new claim. Individuals can file a new claim 24 hours a day, seven days per week at www.FloridaJobs.organd select “File a Claim.”
Customer Service Centers
Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Centers are available this week Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. for all account inquiries and questions. On Saturday, June 19, through Sunday, June 20, staff resources will be dedicated to processing claims and payments. The Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center will reopen Monday, June 21, at 7:30 a.m.The Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center Chat feature is no longer available for use. If individuals need assistance with their claim, they may call 1-833-FL-APPLY, or visit the Reemployment Assistance Help Center, here.
For additional questions, please visit the Reemployment Assistance Help Center. This online portal can assist claimants or employers provide additional information to DEO. Individuals can also notify DEO of suspected Reemployment Assistance fraud or identity theft. To access this new online portal, click here.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Weekly Reemployment Assistance Update – June 15
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