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Florida unemployment eligibility…here’s the reality you need to prepare for

Florida unemployment eligibility…here’s the reality you need to prepare for

Florida has a labor force of roughly 10 million. Unfortunately, not all employable individuals are with jobs. The State of Florida unemployment rate varies all-year long. The unemployment FL number slows down during the start of the third quarter and picks up at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Florida unemployment rate 2018 has improved with a recorded rate of unemployment of 3.8 percent, lower than the 4.5 percent recorded in 2017. The government is continuously working on improving the Florida employment rate.

Fortunately, the State of Florida provides benefits for its unemployed citizens with the Reemployment Assistance Program at the helm.

This office, once named as the Unemployment Compensation Program is under the umbrella of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). The program helps stabilize Florida’s economy by helping the jobless to cut down the unemployment rate Florida figures.

The Florida Reemployment Assistance Program provides a wide range of benefits. For example, those who are jobless through no fault of their own can receive temporary as well as partial wage replacement as long as they are qualified.

Filing for unemployment in Florida comes without any cost to the worker. The assistance program is financed by employers who pay payroll taxes.

But just how FL define joblessness? What is the process of filing unemployment in Florida? For how long can you receive unemployment? How much does Florida unemployment pay to its jobless workers? What other programs can help the unemployed Floridians?

These are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the Florida unemployment application.

An overview of the Florida Reemployment Assistance Program (and How You Can Take Advantage)

1. The requirements

There are three requirements one has to meet to qualify for the Florida reemployment assistance.

First, the individual must be available, able and actively searching for a job. Second, the person should have lost his or her job through no fault of his or her. And third, one should have earned sufficient wages during the base period.

If a person meets the collected unemployment definition, then he or she can proceed to apply for the unemployment Florida program

One, however, must begin filing for unemployment Florida claims within the first week after losing the job to ensure that the Florida unemployment amount are received in a timely manner. Filing the claims is relatively easy as one only has to access the connect.myflorida.com login.

2. Duration and amount of the benefits

Claimants must determine the claim weeks FL unemployment they are entitled to, keeping in mind that the max unemployment benefits one can receive are capped at $275 per week. The max.unemployment time for claiming is 26 weeks.

Applicants should also have earned at least $3400 in the base period at the time of claiming Florida unemployment benefits. Those whose highest quarter earnings are higher than 1.5x their entire base period earnings, unfortunately, cannot qualify for the Florida unemployment compensation.

Determining one’s unemployment payments Florida benefit, fortunately, is made easy with the Florida unemployment benefits calculator.

3. When, how and how long can you receive unemployment benefits

Normally, claimants of unemployment benefits Florida will need to wait roughly three to four weeks for the initial payment. One can receive benefits ranging from 12 to 23 weeks. The max unemployment in Florida where a worker can collect benefits is contingent on the present Florida employment rate. One can check the present rate of unemployment in Florida by visiting Florida unemployment.gov site

Getting these benefits is relatively easy as claimants can receive the funds electorally using their debit cards. The benefits can also be deposited straight into the claimants’ bank accounts.

4. The job search

It’s not enough to be unemployed as workers also have to be actively searching for jobs. The job search efforts must be documented and reported properly before collecting the benefits.

Those applying for the fla unemployment benefits must be registered in the reemployment Florida.Connect prior to claiming any unemployment benefits.

Recipients of the benefits could lose the benefits if they turn down a suitable job offer. Similarly, one should also report to the Reemployment Assistance Program Florida immediately once they are employed again.

5. Filing for an appeal

There are cases when one’s application for unemployment benefits is denied. When this happens, applicants have the option of filing for an appeal either by mail, fax or online. Those filing for an appeal have 20 days from the time they have been notified of their Florida unemployment status of benefits.

The reemployment FL Connect will then schedule a telephone hearing after receiving the filed appeal. An appeals referee will be the one to decide on the case, and the appellant will receive the decision via mail

Key terms to remember when filing for unemployment benefits (these are important!)

To make this guide easier, readers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the following terms regarding unemployment Florida rates and benefits:

  • Base Period – The base period is an important determinant of the amount of unemployment one can collect.  The base period is the first four quarters starting 18 months before the filing of the claims. Determining how to claim my weeks of unemployed benefits starts by understanding that the state uses the standard calendar quarters in the computation. These calendar quarters are January to March, April to June, July to September and October to December.
  • Beneficiary – A person receiving benefits
  • Benefits – The weekly payments paid twice a week to workers qualified for unemployment claims
  • Benefit week – Benefits are provided for the calendar weeks of being jobless. Benefit weeks begin at 12:01 am of Sunday and end on Saturdays
  • Benefit year – A claimant’s effective date of the first claim, which is normally on the Sunday of the week when the applicant filed for his or her first claim
  • Claimant – A person who is applying and/or receiving FL DEO UI benefit
  • Initial Skills Review – A required inventory to be filled out by claimants. This helps the One-Stop Career Center assist beneficiaries in looking for a new job
  • One-Stop Career Center – A center providing complete services for those claiming for unemployment benefits and searching for jobs or reemployment. These centers are situated in varied areas in the State of Florida.
  • Reemployment Assistance Program – The Florida Department of reemployment handles this program, which provides unemployment benefits, reemployment and job search services for the citizens of Florida
  • Unemployment Compensation Program – The previous name of the agency of the State of Florida that administers the distribution of unemployment benefits, reemployment and job search services. Its name was changed to the Reemployment Assistance Program.
  • Waiting week – The qualifying period required by the laws of Florida where beneficiaries are unpaid for the week. The week usually happens on the first week of the filing of claims

A Closer Look: How to get FL unemployment benefits FAST and EASY

Not all unemployed can qualify for the Florida Unemployment Insurance or FL UI. Applicants must meet the following criteria to receive benefits.

  • Applicants must either be totally or partially employed after losing a job through no fault of their own. This means the claimants neither quit their jobs for personal reasons or were terminated for malicious conduct.
  • Applicants must have accumulated the required minimum amount of earnings during the base period. The base period pertains to the first four quarters that were completed starting 18 months before filing for unemployment claims.
  • Applicants must be available, willing, ready and able to take a job. One must also be actively looking for employment and must show proof of the job search efforts.

Applicants who are unsure if they meet the above criteria or have other pertinent questions regarding unemployment insurance benefits can get in touch with the Florida One-Stop-Shop Career Centers.

Factors to consider when determining eligibility—are you eligible?

There are other factors affecting one’s eligibility for unemployment benefits Florida such as when the applicant lost the last job as well as the timing of the filing of the claims.

Below are guidelines that claimants of Florida unemployment benefits should keep in mind.

  • Not everyone who quit their jobs is automatically denied of the benefits. One, however, must show proof that they left work for justifiable reasons such as job conflicts or harassment at the workplace.
  • The impact of unemployment benefits may be affected if the application is receiving either a pension or severance pay.
  • Some life circumstances like health issues, childcare, travel issues, among others may prevent applicants from actively searching and accepting jobs. As such, these life circumstances may impact negatively one’s ability to avail of benefits.

What to know about job separation—don’t skip this!

Those who would like to apply for unemployment Florida benefits should prove that the reasons for leaving their previous job are through no fault theirs. As such, the following reasons for job separation may render an applicant ineligible:

  • Quitting the job because of lack of work satisfaction
  • Absence without leave or failure to show up at the workplace without notifying the employer
  • Lack of reasonable efforts on the part of the applicant to be good at the job
  • No efforts exerted to solve ongoing workplace issues
  • When one is caught either damaging or stealing any company property
  • When fired for actions that are detrimental to the company’s interests
  • When the applicant sustains either severe or life-altering injuries

Applicants must keep in mind that the Connect Florida Department Economic Opportunity Office will get in touch with the previous employers to investigate if the information provided by the applicants are correct. Employers, after all, receive notifications and are required to log-on to https //employers.connect.myflorida.com.

An applicant will be deemed as eligible for unemployment benefits if the office can validate that the applicant lost the previous job through no fault of his or hers.

Employers who are looking for guidelines after receiving notifications for information verification can get the guide through this link: www.floridajobs.org/unemployment/connect/external guide employer.pdf

How to apply for unemployment in Florida? Requirements for processing claims (don’t miss these!)

A claimant should have all their requirements ready before filing. It is important, after all, to have all pertinent information supporting one’s claim on being unemployed.

The following requirements should be ready before registering at the unemployment login FL.

  • Contact information including names, phone numbers, addresses of the applicants’ former employer’s for the last 18 months
  • The dates worked for listed past employers for the last 18 months
  • The amount earned from each previous employer in the last 18 months
  • The gross amount of wages or the pre-tax earnings for the current week at the beginning of the first week of applying for unemployment benefits week, which starts at 12:01 am of Sunday
  • Proof of identity or valid identification cards
  • Contact details of the labor union hall of the claimant if he or she is a member of any labor union
  • For non-US citizens, an alien registration number and work permit expiration date
  • DD-214 if the claimant was a member of the military force in the last 24 months
  • Either W2 proof of earnings or SF-50 or SF-8 and check stubs for federal employees
  • Savings or checking accounts for those who want their benefits deposited straight to the bank accounts

How to file for unemployment in Florida? Getting timely benefits NOW

Applicants who want to start receiving their unemployment benefits as soon as possible should begin claiming within seven days after losing their jobs. When a person can start receiving claims depends on the date when the application was completed. Keep in mind that claims always start on the Sunday before the day when the applicant completed the entire application.

All FL unemployment benefits should be filed and completed electronically via the my connect Florida website. Applicants should make sure that they are logging on to the correct UI site. For Floridians, they should login to my connect Florida instead of logging in to other states’ UI sites such as MA dept of unemployment login.

The online application is easy as one simply needs to login to the FloridaConnect site. Applicants should register and find the “my Florida unemployment” to know the status of the claims and other pertinent information.

The application process in FL Connect roughly takes around half an hour to an hour to complete. All applications, however, must be completed within the next three days or 72 hours from the start of the application or else claimants will have to start from scratch again.

Those in need of help in processing their application or has no access to a computer for filling up the online application can proceed to any One-Stop Career Centers for help. These centers are located in different parts of the state and applicants should go to the office nearest them.

For example, those living in Jackson can get in touch with the unemployment office in Jacksonville FL. Workers can also call the Florida reemployment phone number to find the nearest One-Stop Career Centers.

Applications should ensure that they provide accurate and true information. According to the unemployment FL laws, the state can deny applications with false or incorrect information.

Similarly, the law says that those caught falsifying information could be sued by the state and could be sanctioned with jail time, fines and disqualified from receiving any state benefits in the future. Falsification of records, after all, is deemed as a felony and as such will invalidate the applicant’s Florida unemployment claim status.

The Reemployment Florida Connect will send a notification to the applicant’s email after the final submission of the claim. Those who failed to receive a notice should get in touch with the claims Florida unemployment connect office.

Aside from the confirmation notice, applicants will also receive information regarding participation in the Initial Skills Review. This test is aimed at deterring a comprehensive inventory of the applicant’s job strengths and weaknesses. The One-Stop Career Center uses the skills review to help claimants in their search for new employers. The Initial Skills Review is required for all claimants.

How long does the processing of claims take? How many weeks will the benefit payment last? Get your benefits right here

Applicants should expect to go through the “waiting week” phase

Florida State requires applicants to go through a phase where they will not be receiving any benefits after the claim has been completed and accepted. This phase is referred to as the “waiting week”.

For how long unemployment claimants can receive unemployment benefits? The duration ranges from 12 to 23 weeks. The duration when one can continue receiving benefits depends on Florida states present unemployment rate as this affects unemployment payments Florida rates.

The amount of support for each claimant will vary as the benefits are dependent earnings from each applicant’s base period and how much is Florida unemployment at present.

The base period is based on the first four finished quarters in the last year and a half or 18 months.

Must-know information regarding unemployment claim weeks—here’s how to take advantage

At present, Florida pays its unemployed citizens by dividing the claimant’s wages using the figure in the highest base period quarter by 26. A claimant can receive as much as $275 weekly, the unemployment maximum benefits in the state.

Currently, there are no extensions for receiving these benefits. There is no Florida unemployment extension 2017 program as extension payments ceased in 2012.

For how long do you have to work to get unemployment in Florida? It’s not so much on the length of work but rather on earnings. Applicants must have earned at least $3400 during the base period of their unemployment benefits claim. Plus, one’s largest quarter earnings should not exceed more than 1.5 X of the whole base period earnings.

The beneficiary of the unemployed claims will lose the benefits once hired for a full-time job so that the state can improve the FL unemployment number.

The same cannot be said for those who are hired as part-timers as they could still enjoy some of the benefits. The wages for the part-time job a beneficiary receives will be used in determining how much of the unemployment benefits they are still entitled to.

For example, a person earning $60 from their part-time jobs will see a deduction for the same amount from their weekly benefit claim. Other income such as gratuities and tips should also be reported for every week that they are earned.

There is no need to do a manual computation to determine the unemployment payrate benefit one can and should receive. There’s the Florida Unemployment Calculator to make the calculation much easier that can be used.

Those claiming their fluidnow claim weeks benefit should file their claims every two weeks that they are unemployed.

Claimants will receive an information notice containing specific instructions within 18 days after filing their claims.

Claimants also have 14 days from their claim date to get their weeks of unemployment benefits as the disbursements of the cash benefit is not automatic. This means that claimants should be proactive in getting their benefits within the allotted time. Those who fail to get their collected unemployment benefits promptly could be denied from receiving them.

Claimants are required to report any job completed as well as the wages earned when claiming the benefits even if the earnings from the jobs yet have to be paid.

Beneficiaries must also keep in mind that their reporting dates could be changed after receiving their first payments. Reporting dates are determined using the beneficiary’s last four digits of their Social Security Numbers.

Searching for employment is a must to receive benefits—get your benefits now!

One of the most commonly asked questions on Florida unemployment jobs search is whether claimants should continue their job search while receiving unemployment benefits. The answer is yes as all job hunting efforts of the beneficiary must be reported to the Florida DEO connect.

Claimants must first register at the Employ Florida Marketplace weeks before claiming weeks of unemployment. One should keep in mind that there is a maximum unemployment length that can receive support.

There are however exemptions from this rule. The following are not required to register to the connect FL jobs:

  • Those with either language or literacy impediment
  • Those with mental or physical impairment
  • Those who currently don’t reside in Florida
  • Those who are temporarily laid off as long as the lay-off does not last longer than two months or eight weeks
  • Those who belong to a labor union and able to regularly find work via the union hall
  • Those legally banned from accessing and using a computer

The UI referred by status Florida rules state that claimants should reach out to at least five potential employers per week to keep receiving unemployment benefits.

Claimants should maintain records of their employment search efforts. Records should contain information such as a list of the employers they contacted, the results of the conversation and the employers’ contact information.

Beneficiaries of the program are required to meet with someone from the One-Stop Career Center. However, in many cases, the meeting may be substituted for meeting the minimum contact requirements.

Those who have received a suitable job offer but refused the job could lose their unemployment benefits. Beneficiaries are also required to report to the Reemployment program once they start a new job.

Finding a job—don’t skip this step!

Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity via the Reemployment Assistance Program does not only provide monetary benefits but also helps the unemployed find new jobs. Claimants will be receiving help with career and job planning. Similarly, the department also has various job programs for senior citizens, veterans, and military spouses.

Specifically, the Reemployment Assistance Program provides the following services

  • Employ Florida – This is a helpful online tool for job seekers as it was designed to connect job seekers to employers. Jobseekers can post their resumes and use valuable resources such as workforce and training aids.
  • Green Jobs – Florida helps the green sector flourish by promoting job searches in the sector. One can find jobs in energy efficiency, renewable energy and conversion fields under this service.
  • CareerSource – CareerSource is tasked to guide workforce development in the State of Florida. It provides policy direction and oversight in the different talent programs under the umbrella of the DEO. CareerSource Florida connects skilled and qualified Floridians with employers.
  • PeopleFirst – This program helps job seekers look for and apply for jobs in the government
  • Teach in Florida – This program is designed to help job seekers who are interested in landing a job in Florida’ school system

Those who want to know more about these programs can call the unemployment phone number FL to inquire.

Here’s how to start getting paid for weekly unemployment

Claimants have the option to have their benefits paid out electronically via debit cards. There is no need to worry about how long does it take to get unemployment money on debit cards. Many benefits recipients choose this alternative method as the funds are automatically deposited straight into their personal debit card accounts.

What makes debit cards a convenient option is that these cards can be utilized at any service or merchants that accept debit cards.

The debit card option also means minimizing the waiting time for the check to get in the mail as well as the possibilities of identity theft and mail fraud. The Federal Deposit Insurance Company also insures the deposits. The funds are also accessible round the clock.

There is also the option of having the benefit claims deposited directly into bank accounts. For example, some beneficiaries have enrolled in the Florida unemployment direct deposit time 2017 to get their benefits directly into their accounts.

What to do if denied of benefits? File your appeal ASAP!

There are various reasons why some claimants are denied benefits such as incomplete paperwork, failure to provide application requirements on time, being disqualified for getting fired from previous work or insufficient wages during the base period.

Those who are denied from getting Florida unemployment claims should not lose hope as they can file an appeal. Denied applicants have 20 days from the day they received the determination notice. Filing appeals can be done either by mail, fax or online. Those who have queries about the appeal process can call for clarification easily as the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity phone numbers are published online.

Appealing applicants can expect the agency to schedule a telephone hearing where a referee will decide on the case. The decision of the referee will then be mailed to the applicant.

Applicants who disagree with the referee’s decision can appeal again this time at the Unemployment Appeals Commission within 20 days after receiving the notice of the referee’s decision. It will be the commissioners who will evaluate the information and issue another decision on the case.

If the appeal with the Unemployment Appeals Commission is denied, then applicants can make another appeal to the Florida District Court Appeals.

Getting overpaid and fraud—here’s what to watch out for

Beneficiaries who receive more than the amount they are entitled to whether with or without their knowledge will be receiving overpayments. Those who knowingly receive an amount higher than what they’re supposed to be receiving might be labeled as a fraudulent claimant.

An overpayment in itself is not a fraudulent transaction as overpayments in Florida happen due to miscalculation, oversight, or plain misunderstanding in the calculation of the benefit amounts. Technical errors, court decisions or RAAC resulting in redistribution may end up as a non-fraud overpayment.

When overpayments happen, recipients should expect a notice from the concerned department asking them to pay back the overpaid amount. After receiving the notice, claimants should make the needed arrangements to give back the specified amount.

There are several ways to return excess amounts.

  • Sending the amount back can be done through check or cash as long as the payment coupon is attached
  • Sending the excess payment can also be done via the UI Connect Florida site.
  • Claimants can either pay the amount either in full or in installments. When paying in installments, claimants must return at least 10 percent of the whole amount per month.

Committing fraud—be careful with your benefits

Aside from intentionally failing to report overpayments of the benefit, one also can be sued for fraud by the State of Florida for the following reasons:

  • Intentionally withholding information on report wages earned during the week
  • Underreporting earnings
  • Misrepresentation of lying about facts on the reasons for losing the previous job
  • Forging of required documents

Those caught committing fraud in claiming unemployment benefits could face the following sanctions or penalties.

  • Repayment of the lump excess amount received with an additional 15 percent penalty
  • Disqualification from receiving unemployment benefits either for one whole year or on a week-by-week basis
  • May be prosecuted by the state attorney
  • Could face felony charges as the State of Florida considers fraud as a third-degree felony with serious consequences

Tax information on unemployment benefits—everything you need to know

Benefits including unemployment benefits are taxable income. Beneficiaries have the option to withhold 10 percent of their weekly monetary benefits due to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). This can be done after logging into the Connect and clicking on “View and Maintain Account Information” and choosing “Payment Method and Tax Withholding Options.”

Claimants should ensure that they logon to the State of Florida’s page rather than access other states’ pages like the unemployment Texas benefits logon or Georgia’s benefits log-in page.

Form 1099-G

The department issues the Florida unemployment tax form 1099-G every January to file the taxes of those receiving UI. This form lists the amount of benefits one received during the specified year and any amount withheld and paid to the IRS. The 1099-G is available by January 31 for the previous tax year.

Form 49T

In cases of overpayment of benefits, the 49T is the receipt of the repayment. This form indicates the amount paid to the Reemployment Assistance Overpayment for the specific tax year.

Obtaining a copy of the 1099-GG and or 49T

The quickest way to access the Florida unemployment W2 including the 49T and 1099-G form is by choosing “electronic” as the correspondence method. Simply go to the Unemployment connect login page and select “My 1099-G/49T” to access the 1099-G and/or 49T documents for the last five years.

Those who opted for mail as their correspondence type will receive a copy of these forms before January 31 to the address on record. Thus, one should ensure that the address in Connect is updated. The United States Postal Service will forward the mail for those with mail forwarding.

Claimants can also ask for a copy of the 1099-G form by sending an email to [email protected]. The email request should include the full name, current and previous address on record, last four digits of the Social Security Number, valid contact number and the tax year of the form being requested.

Those who need assistance with the forms can get in touch with the department as agents will be able to help.

Canceling claims—do you need to cancel?

An applicant can cancel claims if no monetary benefits were received yet and as long as the cancellation is within 20 days from the time that the claim was determined. Those who would like to cancel their claims should keep in mind that the claim cannot be reinstated after cancellation.

Cancellation of the claims is a simple process as it only requires either faxing or writing a letter to the DEO.

Navigating Florida connect Made EASY

The My Connect site of Florida is easy to navigate. However, there are times when users experience some technical issues. Below are some of the technical concerns in navigating the site with the corresponding solutions.

How to reset PIN to access profile on MFC—Do this first

A personal identification number or PIN is required when registering to the Connect login unemployment page.

Those who have forgotten the PIN of theirFlorida unemployment benefits login can select the “Forgot Pin” option in the site to reset their PIN after providing other information to validate their information. If one still cannot reset the PIN online, then it’s best to get in touch with the agency by calling the Florida unemployment contact number.

The agency may ask claimants to submit documents to verify their identity including a signed copy of the Social Security card and a copy of either the State ID or valid driver’s license, It will take around three working days to review the documents submitted.

Restrictions on PIN—make sure yours is correct!

The PIN of the unemployment login FL should meet the following criteria

  • At least four digits
  • Must be numerical as symbols and letters are not allowed
  • Must be different numbers
  • Must be different from the last four digits of the social security number

Receiving Technical Errors on MFC?

To avoid receiving technical errors when accessing the deo.myflorida.com login, users should keep in mind the following

  • The DEO unemployment login cannot be accessed in mobile devices as the site is only compatible with desktop computers
  • Connect best works with Internet Explorer 11

Those who continue to experience technical errors with reemployment Florida login can get in touch with the agency.

Trouble in accessing documents in inbox—here’s what to do

Some users may experience problems in accessing documents attachment. To avoid such problems, the following must be followed:

  • Install updated Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Use a desktop computer instead of mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones
  • Use a compatible browser
  • Deactivate any pop-up blockers that could potentially be causing the PDF documents from being opened

Changing correspondence type—super simple!

Those who would like to change their correspondence type can simply do so by doing the following after reaching the connect.myflorida.com login.

  • Proceed to the main menu and click on “View and Maintain Information”
  • Click on “Contact Information”
  • Click on “Edit”
  • Choose preferred correspondence type and ensure updated contact information
  • Click on “Submit”

More Florida benefits and programs for the unemployed—but wait, there’s more!

There are other programs aside from the Florida re employment assistance program that can aid unemployed Floridians. The unemployed, however, have to file for these benefits separately.

Just because one has already received benefits from one unemployment benefit programs does not mean he or she can no longer apply for another.

Below are other benefit programs that unemployed Floridians can avail of.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program—Get the housing assistance you deserve!

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP is financed by the Federal Government of the United States. LIHEAP aids in paying for one month worth of home power costs for households earning a low income.

One can avail of this benefit as much as three times annually. Funds are given straight to the power distribution company rather than the household.

LIHEAP is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Economic Opportunity, which handles the following tasks for the program.

  • Apply for financing from the Federal Government
  • Distribute funds to local governments or local agency providers and non-profit agencies in the form of grants
  • Monitor the performance of local governments in the administration of the funding, ensuring that they follow the state as well as federal laws and rules
  • Provide technical assistance to help the local agency providers in the conduct of their duties

Find out if you’re qualified!

Anyone whose total household income is equal to or lesser than the household limits defined by the program.

For example, a household consisting of one individual should have an income of equal or lesser than $18,735. Or a home consisting of eight should have earnings of not greater than $65,145.

How to apply for Florida benefits NOW

  • Visit the Local LIHEA Provider web page to find more information and determine the local agency providers
  • Apply at the designated agency of the county where one resides by reaching them via telephone. These agencies have caseworkers who can help applicants and can provide assistance and counseling to citizens. However, most agencies receive large volumes of calls, and as such applicants should keep calling until they get hold of a caseworker.
  • Set-up an appointment with the local agency where workers are assigned to help applicants fill-up the application
  • The local agency accepts the application and determines the applicant’s eligibility for the programs

Community Services Block Grant Program—Eligible or not?

The Community Services Block Grant Program aims to aid low-income earning homes to become more self-sufficient.

Non-profit agencies and local governments also referred to as Community Action Agencies handle the distribution of the funds, which are spent on anti-poverty programs. These would include provisions for food, daycare, emergency health care, housing, transportation assistance, home finance management, nutrition programs, and job counseling, among others.

The CDBG is under the umbrella of the Department of Economic Opportunity mainly by handling three programs in Florida, namely, Office of Disaster Recovery, Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program, and Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The Office of Disaster Recovery is aimed at rebuilding communities and considered a disaster-stricken area as chosen by the President of the United States.

The Neighborhood Stabilization program was designed to help stabilize communities that have suffered losses due to abandonment and foreclosures.

The Florida Small Cities CDBG is a grant program that provides funds to eligible villages, towns, counties, and cities. The funds provided will be used for economic development, neighborhood revitalization, housing rehabilitation, and commercial revitalization.

One of the sub-projects under the CDBG also includes economic development activities that generate jobs for both low and moderate-income workers.

Are you eligible for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)?

What does FL do for affected workers by major calamities or disasters? The state also provides unemployment benefits for these difficult times.

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is aimed at helping individuals who have lost their jobs due to a major disaster and are not qualified for the regular Florida State reemployment assistance benefits.

The DUA provides for those who are self-employed, and farm, ranch, and fisheries workers. Other individuals ineligible for the regular unemployment benefits are also covered by the program.

The DUA is activated by the United States President following a major disaster. Upon the signing of the official declaration, the Department of Eco (DEO) will officially announce the program’s availability.

Applicants must file their claims for the program within 30 days from the time of the official announcement of the DEO. One can claim benefits for up to 26 weeks. Those affected by the major disaster can call the DEO Florida phone number to ask about the implementation of the DUA.

Those who are eligible for the regular unemployment payment Florida benefit should exhaust that benefit prior to claiming for DUA.

Who are considered unemployed under DUA? Are you eligible?

Under DUA rules, an unemployed worker is an individual who either was scheduled to start work or who worked in the disaster-declared area when the major disaster happened and whose primary source of earning and livelihood depends on the worker’s job for wages.

Who is eligible for DUA? Get your benefits now!

  • Those who are not qualified or have already exhausted the regular unemployment benefits
  • Those who either work or live in the county that was declared as disaster-affected area
  • Those who have lost their jobs due to the impact of the disaster or are unable to travel to their workplace due to the disaster
  • Those unable to work following an injury sustained due to the disaster
  • Those who became the primary breadwinner or major support of the household following the death of the household head due to the disaster
  • Those who were about to start new work but lost the job due to the disaster

Availability for work to qualify

Applicants must be able and are available for employment to qualify for DUA benefits. However, individuals who become unable to work due to injuries sustained as a result of the major disaster are exempted from this rule.

How to apply

After the DUA is declared and becomes available, residents will be asked about the possible effects of the recent disaster upon filing for the regular connect Florida reemployment program.
Claims for DUA can also be filed in the Connect site or by calling the UI Florida phone number.

Requirements for filing claims

The following are the requirements for filing claims for DUA:

  • Social Security Number
  • For non-US citizens, alien registration number and expiration date
  • Name and contact information of the previous or separating employer
  • Name and contact information of the employer where one was supposed to start new work

For the self-employed who are applying for DUA must provide proof of their self-employment that was directly impacted by the disaster. These would include but not limited to

  • Financial statements
  • Federal or state tax returns
  • Bank records or 1099 forms

When is an unemployed considered ineligible for DUA?

Those whose partial or complete unemployment is no longer due to the impact of the major disaster will no longer be ineligible for DUA. Likewise, a person who resumes work or self-employment can no longer be eligible for the program.

DUA and Other Unemployment Benefits

DUA cannot be used together with the fluidnow claim weeks Florida for the same week of being unemployed. Similarly, it cannot be used in the waiting week period for the regular unemployment benefits under the laws of the State of Florida.

Weatherization Assistance Program—Florida residents, get your benefits today!

The Weatherization Assistance Program is funded by the federal government. The goal of the programs is to aid with the power costs of low-income earning households.

Rather than pay for electricity costs directly, low-earning homes get to save on their power consumption through application of solar reflective coatings, installation of solar screens, improvement of ventilation and insulation, and repairs or replacement of inefficient heating and cooling equipment.

Thus, the Weatherization Assistance Program aids households to save on power costs, which is truly beneficial to those who are currently unemployed and want to cut household bills.

To inquire about the Weatherization Assistance Programs, one must simply find the county where they reside and get in touch with the local agency handling the program. The applications are not available online.

Additional References:

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