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All That You Need To Know About Florida’s Reemployment Assistance Program

Updated : August 4th, 2020

The United States offers unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to its unemployed citizens to enable them to meet their monetary needs temporarily. Federal and state governments jointly manage this program. In Florida, the UI benefits are called Reemployment Assistance (RA) program. 

What Is a Reemployment Assistance Program?

The Reemployment Assistance program, similar to UI benefits, provides temporary wages to qualified individuals who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. 

The reason behind rebranding UI with Reemployment Assistance is to reflect the goal of assisting the unemployed to find a job by training them through Florida’s CareerSource Centers in addition to providing financial relief. 

Eligibility Criteria For The Reemployment Assistance Program

To qualify for the Reemployment Assistance program, you should meet the following criteria.

  • You have lost your employment through no fault of your own, and have not quit for personal reasons 
  • You are fully or partially unemployed
  • You can work, available for work, and actively seeking work
  • You have a minimum amount of wages earned in the base period
  • You have documented your work search activities 

Changes to RA Eligibility Criteria Due To The Coronavirus

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Florida has modified some of its criteria for qualifying for the Reemployment Assistance program.

1. Additional Benefits 

The federal government’s CARES Act provides claimants an additional $600 per week. Those who qualify for the RA program will receive this payment on top of their weekly Florida benefit. 

The CARES Act authorizes direct payments to eligible individuals and families. If you have filed your 2018 or 2019 income tax return and received your refund via direct deposit, then the authorities will use the same account details and deposit your payment. 

2. Benefits For Self-Employed And Gig Workers 

Floridians who are self-employed, gig workers, nonprofit workers, or contractors qualify for state benefits. The CARES Act allows them to apply for $600 per week by filing the form through Florida’s unemployment system. 

3. Extended Duration 

When the unemployment rate increases above 5%, Florida extends the duration of the benefits beyond the standard 12 weeks. That is an additional week added for every 0.5% increase to the unemployment rate. The maximum extension is 23 weeks.

Where To File For A Reemployment Assistance Program?

You can apply for a Reemployment Assistance program through online applications or paper applications. 

1. Apply Through New Website For Online Applications

Due to the surge in the number of unemployment benefits claims, CONNECT, Florida’s website for online unemployment applications is crashing, causing trouble for the applicants. 

To address this issue, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has launched a mobile-friendly website that eases the application process. 

2. Apply Through Paper Applications

If you can’t apply through the website, you can file through a paper application for Florida Reemployment Assistance.

If you are already receiving the payments, then there is an additional step that you must follow to get the benefits beginning this week. 

The DEO has announced that the claimants required to return to the CONNECT system to claim your weeks to continue receiving your payment. This is done to confirm that the claimants are still unemployed and are available and able to start employment. 

What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied?

If your claim is denied despite meeting all the eligibility criteria, then you must re-submit the application. The re-application holds good for gig workers, self-employed, or contractors who have applied before April 5th. 

What To Do If You Are Overpaid?

At times, you may be overpaid than you are entitled to receive. Whether you are overpaid due to the mistakes you committed while filing form or some other reasons, you must repay the overpayment of unemployment benefits. 

In Florida you can repay the amount by sending the payment to the United Collection Bureau (UCB). you can also repay using your credit card

If you further have any queries regarding Reemployment Assistance program, contact DEO.

 

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