Frequently Asked Questions for Reemployment Assistance Benefits for Federal Employees in Florida

If you are a Federal employee that is on furlough due to a government shutdown, you may qualify for Reemployment Assistance benefits during the furlough period. This page contains the most frequently asked questions by federal employees affected by the furlough. It also provides additional resources that may help you during a shutdown. For instructions on how to file a claim, please see our Apply for Benefits page. For common questions about Reemployment Assistance, please see our FAQ page.

  • How do I know if I qualify for Reemployment Assistance (RA) benefits?
    While the state must determine whether individuals meet the eligibility requirements under state law for reemployment assistance, all federal employees in Florida affected by the partial federal government shutdown can apply for RA benefits.
  • What is a furlough?
    Employees not required to work during a government shutdown are placed in a non-pay, non-duty status, until the shutdown ends. This is known as a furlough.
  • I am a federal employee that is on furlough. Can I file for RA Benefits for the time I am out of work?
    Generally, if you are out of work through no fault of your own and are available to work, you may be eligible for RA benefits and can file a claim. If your hours have been reduced instead of being fully out of work, you may still file. However, you must report your gross earnings and you can only receive partial RA benefits if your gross earnings are less than your approved weekly benefit amount. .
  • I am a furloughed federal employee stationed and residing outside the US. Am I still eligible?
    No, you must be physically present in a state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands to be eligible for a claim for RA benefits.
  • I am still working but not currently receiving pay. Am I still eligible?
    An employee who remains on the job on a full-time basis but who is not receiving pay is not eligible for RA benefits because that employee is still fully employed. An employee who remains on the job but who works on an as-needed or part-time basis and is receiving less than the established weekly benefit amount may be eligible for RA benefits.    
  • How do I file for RA benefits?
    You can file a claim online via Florida’s CONNECT claims system. If you are seeking RA Benefits, please click here to access the CONNECT system to file your claim. If you cannot file a claim online because of legal reasons, computer illiteracy, language barriers, or disabilities you may call 1-800-681-8102. Your claim can be filed by phone 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
  • What do I need to file?
    Before filing, make sure you have the following documents available:
  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s License or State ID number
  • Your employment history for the last 18 months, including the following information for each employer:
    1. Name, address and phone number
    2. First and last day of work
    3. Gross earnings (before taxes are taken out) during the listed dates
    4. Reason for separation
    5. Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). If you do not have the FEIN, you can use the employer details from recent paystub.
    • When should I file for benefits?
      You should file for RA benefits in the first week you are unemployed for the entire or majority of the week. If you file a claim during the calendar week when your work ended, it is important to report your final week’s earnings when requesting benefit payment for the first time.
    • Will I be paid for every week?
      The first week of a claim for which you have been eligible for payment is an unpaid week, known as the “waiting week.” Subsequent eligible weeks are payable, up to your claim’s maximum benefit allowance.
    • What should I report as the reason for separation for a furlough?
      The furlough is considered a layoff. Please use “Layoff” as the separation reason when applying for benefits. You will then be asked if you are scheduled to return to work with your employer, answer ‘yes’. 
      • If your employer provided a return to work date, enter that date.
      • If no date was provided, enter a return date that is eight weeks from the 'Employment End Date' you entered on the employment detail screen.
    • What should I do after I file?
      You are required to complete a few additional items after completing your application.
      • Request Benefit Payment. You are scheduled to return to the CONNECT system every two weeks to request your benefits. Completing this process submits your request for payment during your weeks of unemployment, even when your claim is pending for review. It is important that you request your benefits within seven days of your scheduled date regardless of your claim status.
      • Fill out any incomplete fact-findings. During the initial processing of your claim, many reviews occur regarding your eligibility for benefits. You will be mailed correspondence or sent an email reminder to check your CONNECT inbox based on your selected contact method. Please complete any requests for information as soon as possible. Any correspondence received via mail can be completed online, or you can return completed forms via fax to 1-877-934-1504.
      • Watch for your notice of monetary determination.This notice will provide details on the amount of benefits you can receive per week (weekly benefit amount), the total balance your claim has (maximum benefit amount), as well as the history of wages that has established your claim.
    • Are unemployment insurance benefits taxable?
      Yes, benefits are taxable income. You can elect to withhold 10 percent of your weekly benefits due with the IRS. This can be handled after logging into your claim under "View and Maintain Account Information" and selecting "Payment Method and Tax Withholding Options."
    • If I use vacation pay, can I collect?
      If your vacation pay exceeds $275 per week, you are not eligible for RA benefits. If it is less than $275, your vacation pay must be reviewed to determine eligibility.
    • I received a monetary determination that shows no wages and that I'm not eligible for benefits. Does this mean I will not receive Reemployment Assistance?
      Your initial monetary determination will only reflect regular wages earned in the state of Florida. Wages earned from federal employment will be added to the claim after you submit proof of wages and/or official wages are received from the employer. Out of state or military wages are verified with other parties before being added to the claim, at which time a new monetary determination will be issued.
    • How do I cancel my claim when I return to work?
      You may continue to request benefit weeks up to the week when you start back working. When you request the week overlapping with your job, please indicate that you have worked and earned money during the week. If you expect to work full-time or earn over $275 in gross earnings during the week of overlap, you do not need to request benefits for that week.
    • What happens if I receive back pay, at a later date, for the time I was furloughed?
      If you receive back pay for any period of time you claimed eligible weeks for RA benefits, you will be required to pay the RA Program back for these weeks.
    • How do I repay benefits if I later receive pay?
      Repayments are accepted by check/money order with an attached payment coupon or by credit card here. Established overpayments are expected to be paid in full. If you are unable to make repayment in full, a minimum payment of 10 percent of the total original balance is expected to be paid on a monthly basis. DEO will accept any repayments toward an overpayment.
    • What other resources are available to assist furloughed employees?
      Florida’s 24 local CareerSource development boards stand ready to provide direct services to those impacted by the shutdown. From resume writing, to training and other tools to secure employment click here to locate the nearest CareerSource Florida location.

    Resources

    For more information about the Reemployment Assistance (RA) Program, federal furloughs, what to expect after you file, and other programs that may provide further assistance, visit the following webpages:

    FAQs – Reemployment Assistance Program: Frequently asked questions about the RA program, including eligibility requirements and what to expect after a claim is filed.       

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management Furlough Guidance: Important information on pay & leave during furloughs for federal employees and agencies. 

    Benefits.GovOnline resource to help find federal benefits you may be eligible for. 

    211Nation-wide free service that provides information about various forms of assistance, including those affected by a federal furlough.  

    CareerSource FloridaAssistance for finding work and job training. 

    Contact UsStill need help? Contact us online or by phone. 

    For Frequently Asked Questions, please call
    1-833-352-7759.

     For CONNECT Pin Resets, please call
    1-833-352-7759.

    CONNECTApply for Benefits

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    Start your application in CONNECT

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    Contact Us

    E-mail a Reemployment Assistance agent

    For Individuals:
    Reemployment Assistance Hotline
    1-833-352-7759

    For Employers:
    DEO Employer Customer Service Call Center

    1-833-352-7759

    FRAUD HOTLINE
    1-833-352-7759

     Reemployment Assistance fraud is a 3rd degree felony. Each offense is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 fine.


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