General

  • What is Reemployment Assistance?
    Unemployment Insurance was rebranded with the name Reemployment Assistance to reflect the comprehensive goal of assisting Floridians find work during periods of unemployment through monetary assistance when eligible and training through Florida’s CareerSource centers.  

  • What is CONNECT?
    CONNECT is Florida’s Reemployment Assistance claims system. CONNECT offers access to file, manage, and review your claim details 24/7.  

  • What are your hours of operation?
    The CONNECT claims system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact Center hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST, Monday through Friday.  

  • How do I file a claim? Where do I file a claim?
    You can file a claim online via Florida’s CONNECT claims system. If you are seeking Reemployment Assistance 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 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST, Monday through Friday.  
  • When do benefit claims begin?
    Your claim is effective Sunday of the week you complete your application. By state law, the first week of a claim for which you would have been eligible for payment is an unpaid week. This week is considered your “waiting week.”  
  • Where do I go to file a claim?
    Claims are filed online through our CONNECT system. If you need assistance or have questions about your claim, you can contact us by e-mail or by phone at 1-800-204-2418. If you have a claim, please use the e-mail address you have provided in CONNECT.   If you need assistance looking for work or a computer to file your claims, you can use your local CareerSource Florida office. Many locations offer additional services such as computers for your use, fax machines, copying services, and more.  

  • Who pays for my Reemployment Assistance benefits?
    Florida employers pay for reemployment assistance through a tax managed by the Florida Department of Revenue. It is one of the employer's business costs. Workers do not pay reemployment taxes.  

  • Can I receive benefits if I am placed on part-time work?
    If your employer reduces your hours against your will, you may be eligible for partial benefits. If you are earning less than $275 in gross earnings per week, you can file a claim to determine if you would be eligible to receive partial payments.  
  • Sometimes the system tells me to call back later. Why is that?
    We experience periods of high call volume. If you are unable to reach the department by phone, please submit an e-mail for information regarding your claim. If you have a claim, please use the e-mail address you have provided in CONNECT. 

PIN & Technical Questions

  • How can I reset my PIN to regain access to my profile?
    After entering your Social Security number on the CONNECT login page, select the “Forgot PIN” option to reset your PIN after verifying your information. If you cannot reset the PIN, contact us at 1-800- 297-0586.

    You can submit documents verifying your identity to the department. Please provide a signed copy of your Social Security card and a copy of your valid driver’s license or state ID. Please allow three business days for the documents to be reviewed and, then contact the department at 1-800-297-0586 to verify your information.

    Fax:
    321-332-6608
    E-mail: pinresetorl@deo.myflorida.com
  • Are there any restrictions for my PIN?
    Yes, please make sure your PIN meets the following criteria:
    • Your PIN must be four digits.
    • Your PIN can only be numbers. Letters and symbols are not allowed.  
    • Your PIN cannot be only one number (1111, 2222, 9999,etc.)
    • Your PIN cannot be four sequential digits (1234, 2345, 6789, etc.)
  • Are there any restrictions for the security questions?
    Yes, please make sure your security questions meet the following criteria:
    • Your answers must use letters and numbers. Special characters are not allowed.
    • Your answers must be between 5 and 35 characters in length.          
  • Help, I received a technical error. What do I do?
    There are two common causes to technical issues with CONNECT:
    • CONNECT is not compatible with mobile devices. CONNECT was designed for desktop computers.
    • CONNECT is most compatible with Internet Explorer 11. If you continue to receive technical errors even after making these adjustments, please contact the department at 1-800-204-2418.
  • When I enter my Social Security Number, Driver’s License, and/or State ID, the system says the information is not valid. What do I do?
    Please verify you are submitting the information exactly as it appears on your documents. If the system continues to report that information is not valid, after your third attempt, the system will accept the information you are providing. If this happens, your claim will be followed-up with a request for you to provide copies of your signed Social Security Card and your valid Driver’s License or State ID card.
  • Can I use my mobile device to file a claim or manage my benefits?
    At this time, mobile devices are not supported with our claims system, CONNECT.

  • I am having trouble opening items in my Inbox. How can I access these documents?
    Please verify the following as these are common issues surrounding opening correspondence:
    • Verify Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed and up-to-date
    • Verify you are using a computer, not a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet
    • Verify you are using a compatible browser
    • Verify you have disabled any pop-up blockers that may stop windows from opening
  • How do I change my correspondence type?
    After logging into CONNECT:
    1. Go to “View and Maintain Account Information” in the main menu.
    2. Go to the “Contact Information” option.
    3. Select the “Edit” button.
    4. Select your new “Correspondence Preference.”
    5. Verify your contact information is up-to-date.
    6. Select the “Submit” button.
  • I used to have notices in my Inbox. Why don’t I see anything in my Inbox?
    After you review an item, it is hidden to make room for new notifications. You can use the search functions in the Inbox to pull up previously viewed correspondence. If you want all correspondence displayed, select the “Search” button with no search information filled out.

  • When I submit my fact-finding questions, why do I get logged out and CONNECT doesn’t save my answers?
    Please be aware that CONNECT will log you out after periods of inactivity. If you spend too much time without changing pages in CONNECT, you will be logged out for security purposes. Please make sure if you have a large amount of information to provide in your fact-finding that you select “Save” at the bottom of the page frequently to avoid losing any information. 

  • Was my uploaded document received in CONNECT?
    When you attach additional documents to your fact-finding, the form will show which documents have been successfully attached prior to submission. Please verify the documents you wish to submit are listed PRIOR to sending your fact-finding. When you submit your documents, you will receive an error if they are not received successfully.

Filing Your Claim

  • What do I need to file a claim for benefits?
    Before filing, make sure you have the following documents available:
    • Social Security number
    • Driver’s License or State ID number
    • Your employment for the last 18 months including for each employer:
      • Name, Address, and Phone Number
      • First & Last day of work
      • Gross earnings (before taxes are taken out) during the listed dates
      • The reason for separation
      • FEIN number (this is found on any W2 or 1099 tax forms you have received)
      • If you don’t have the FEIN, you can use employer details off of a recent paystub   Additionally, if you are one of the following, make sure you have this additional information available:
    • Not a US Citizen: Alien Registration Number or other work authorization form
    • Military Employee: DD-214 Member 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 may be used
    • Federal Employee: SF 8 or SF 50
    • Union Member: Union Name, Hall Number, & Phone Number  
  • I am missing a piece of information, should I still file?
    Missing information will create additional delays in determining your eligibility. However, if missing information is unavoidable, your claim can still be processed.    
  • I have already filed within the last year; do I need to file another claim?
    If your previous claim has a remaining balance and has not expired, you will have the option to file a “Reopen” in CONNECT. This is a shortened application to update your work history since your original application was filed. Once completed, any recent employment will be reviewed and weeks of benefits will be scheduled for you to claim.  

  • I am having trouble entering my citizenship/work authorization information.
    Please enter the number of the authorizing document you are able to provide. If you continue to have difficulties, the system will accept your information after several attempts. However, a copy of your document will be requested after your application is completed.

  • Do I need to enter an employer I only worked with a short time?
    Yes, your entire work history is required from the last 18 months. Regardless of the length of time worked, all employment is used in determining your benefits.
     
  • I cannot enter one of my employers in the application, what do I do?
    Please check for some of the following common mistakes. Make sure:  
    • There are no mistakes with the start and end dates
    • The employment end date is during or after the base period indicated by CONNECT
    • The employment is not already on the claim. You can use the “Previous” button to return and check.

      Carefully review the error message you receive as this will try to assist in correcting the error. If the
      problem persists, please contact the department at 1-800-204-2418 for assistance.  

  • What do I do once I complete my application?
    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 7 days of your scheduled date regardless of your claim status.  
    • Workforce Registration
      You are required to register with the Employ Florida Marketplace. When creating (or updating) your EFM profile, you must provide a valid e-mail address, upload or create a current resume, and complete the background history on your profile. Please see these step-by-step instructions for more information. IF YOU DO NOT COMPLETE THE FULL WORK REGISTRATION, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE PAYMENT.  
    • Work Search Contacts
      You are required to provide five work search contacts for every week of benefits you request from the department. Report these contacts during your biweekly requests for benefits.  
    • Any incomplete fact-findings
      During the initial processing of your claim, many reviews occur regarding your eligibility for benefits. Please log into your account several times a week or check your mail if you have chosen US Mail to check for any additional requests for information. If you receive a request for additional information, please complete it and submit it as soon as possible. Any correspondence received via mail can be completed online. You can fax completed forms 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.  
    • Appointment with your local CareerSource
      After receiving several weeks of benefits, you will be scheduled for a mandatory appointment with your local CareerSource. It will provide one-on-one services to help create a reemployment plan. Your appointment notice will be mailed to you, so please ensure your address in both CONNECT and your Employ Florida Marketplace profile are up-to-date. Failure to attend your scheduled appointment will result in a review of your eligibility and potentially delay or deny your benefits.

Requesting Benefit Payment

  • Where do I request my weeks of benefits?
    Once you are scheduled to request benefits, you will see the option in the CONNECT menu “Request Benefit Payment.”  

  • How long do I have to request my benefits?
    You have 7 days to request benefits from your scheduled date. Failure to request your benefits in a timely manner will result in the loss of benefit weeks.  
     
  • When I request my benefits, it says I have not completed the full registration with Workforce Services. I completed my profile already, how do I fix this?
    Please verify you have completed ALL three required sections of your Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) profile. Please see these step-by-step instructions to verify you have completed all sections correctly. If you have a preexisting profile, you must update the information for completion on a new claim.   If you have verified all parts have been completed correctly, it may be possible that you have entered your Social Security number, date of birth, or gender incorrectly. If the information does not match between the two systems, CONNECT will be unable to verify the completion of your profile. Please check your EFM profile and verify that your information is correct.   If you are still unable to resolve this issue please contact us at 1-800-204-2418.
     
  • What is a valid work search contact and what information do you need?
    You are required to provide the following details for each job contact:
    • Date of Contact
    • Method of Contact (In person, Online, Fax, Phone, etc.)
    • Business Name including telephone number & complete address, website URL or an e-mail
    • Results of your search
    • Type of work sought  
  • How many work search contacts do I need to provide to the department per benefit week?
    You are required to provide five work search contacts per week. The following are exceptions and exemptions:
    • If you reside in a low-population county, you are required to submit three contacts weekly
    • If you are a Union Member, you are required to remain in good standing and maintain regular contact with your Union.
    • If you have a Temporary Layoff and will return to the same employer within 8 weeks, you are exempt from the work search requirements.
    • If you are offered new employment and have a start date within 6 weeks, you are exempt from the work search requirements.
    • If you are a part of an approved training program, you are exempt from the work search requirements.

      If you qualify for one of these exemptions and still receive a request for full work search information, please contact us at 1-800-204-2418 for assistance.  
  • When will I receive my debit card?
    The Florida Debit Card will be issued by mail after the first payment on your claim is made via debit card. If you have previously been issued a debit card, they are valid for three years from the initial issue date. Your previous card will receive any payments on your current claim. If you have lost your previous debit card and/or have not received your debit card 10 business days after your first debit payment, please contact our card provider, Xerox, at:

                 U.S.: 1-888-898-3584  
                 International: 1-866-601-2850 (This includes Puerto Rico. This line is not toll free)

Florida Debit Card           

  • My profile says a debit card was issued, where is my debit card?
    This is a default system message. If you have a card from a previous claim, a new card will not be issued by default. Your previous card will be considered your active card if it was issued within the last three years. If you no longer have your previous card, please contact our card provider at the above contact information.

  • Why do I have a negative balance on my debit card?
    The debit provider, Xerox, has certain fees associated with the card. This includes a limited number of contacts to their phone lines per month. Please review the information issued with your card for more details surrounding these fees. Xerox also provides additional methods to check your balance including SMS notifications (text messages), checking at approved ATMs, as well as a web portal to view your balance information. Please visit their website, www.eppicard.com for more information.  

  • Why isn’t my CONNECT PIN working for my debit card?
    Because the CONNECT PIN is separate from the debit card PIN. You will need to follow the instructions included with the card in order to activate it and establish a PIN for it.  

  • Why can’t I enter my Banking information on CONNECT?
    There are several reasons your banking information may be rejected:
    • The information you are entering is incorrect.
    • The interface to verify the information is currently down.
    • Your bank is not approved for direct deposit.
    • You are attempting to use a prepaid card for direct deposit purposes.

Unfortunately, we do not accept every financial institution; your bank may not be eligible for Direct Deposit. Please select Debit Card if you have no other financial institution. 

Monetary Determinations

  • What is the maximum amount of benefits I can receive?
    Florida maximum benefits adjust every year based on the previous year’s unemployment rates.

    2015 Claim Maximums: 14 weeks                   2016 Claim Maximums: 12 weeks
    Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA): $275             Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA): $275
    Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA): $3850      Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA): $3300
               
  • How are my benefits calculated?
    The wages used to determine your benefit amounts are the first four of the last five calendar quarters.

    Claims filed today use wages earned between 1/01/15 through 12/31/15.

    Once we have the wages on record, we verify the following to determine if you are eligible for benefits:
    • $3400 minimum gross earnings during base period.
    • You must have a minimum of two quarters of covered wages.
    • Total base period gross wages must be more than 1.5x the highest wage quarter.
       
    Once we complete those checks, the last steps are simple:
    • Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA)
      WBA is the highest quarter divided by 26 OR the weekly amount $275, whichever is less
    • Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA)
      MBA is your total base period wages divided by 4 OR the yearly maximum, whichever is less
  • I do not see my employer on my monetary determination. Why is that?
    This could be due to several factors:
    • It is possible your employment was not during the base period under review.
    • Your employment and wages may not have been covered wages for Reemployment Assistance purposes.
    • It is possible the wages you earned were reported incorrectly or reported late.

    There are two quick steps to check for common issues:
    • Verify the missing employment is during the base period under review.
    • Verify your information (specifically your Social Security number) is correct on any tax forms.
    If you find an error or if you still have concerns regarding your missing wages, you can submit for monetary reconsideration following the instructions on your monetary determination. This must be requested within 20 days of the monetary determination date.
  • Was my request for monetary reconsideration received?
    CONNECT will not display a confirmation screen when submitted. Verify the request was received by checking the “Determination, Pending Issues and Decision Summary” section of CONNECT and reviewing the “Monetary Pending Issues” section. You should see a pending item attached to the employer’s name that you reported wage issues on.  
  • I have disqualified weeks. What does that mean?
    Disqualified weeks will not release payment because of an adjudicator’s determination. Verify the related disqualification by checking the “Determination, Pending Issues and Decision Summary” section of CONNECT.  

  • Will I be paid for my waiting week? Do I have to serve a waiting each time I reactivate my claim?
    No. However, this week does not deduct from your available balance of funds. A claim serves one waiting week during its active benefit year. If your previous claim expires, the new claim would need to serve its own waiting week.
     
  • After filing a claim, my remaining balance was low. I went back to work, why do I not have more money available?
    You cannot receive more than the maximum benefit amount allocated during a claim’s benefit year.
     
  • I see that I have benefits available on an older claim, am I able to receive this money?
    Once the claim passes its expiration date, the funds are no longer available and a new claim must be filed and reviewed for eligibility.

Adjudication

  • Why does my claim say it is pending for adjudication? Why does my monetary determination say I have a pending eligibility issue?
    Anytime your claim has a pending item for resolution, you will have a message indicating that your claim is pending for adjudication. While this frequently means payments must remain on hold until after the review is completed, some issues do not hold benefit payment and are merely background reviews or verifications.  

  • What is considered being “able and available” for work?
    Being able to seek and accept full-time work as well as having the availability to accept a full-time schedule. Below are some related examples that could impact your eligibility:
    • Any illness or injury during the majority of a week (including hospital stays)
    • Travel without the intent of seeking work & relocating
    • A lack of childcare that interrupts your ability to find work
    • Your school schedule conflicts with your ability to work full-time           
  • What is the adjudication process?
    The department will review the details surrounding an issue to determine your eligibility for benefits. Involved parties will receive a fact-finding to request the necessary information to make a determination. An adjudicator may contact you or an employer to clarify any received details before making a determination. This contact may be by phone, e-mail, or through your CONNECT Inbox.
     
  • What if my employer fails to respond?
    If they fail to respond to a request for information by their deadline, a determination will be made with the available information. Please do not contact your former employer regarding their response.
     
  • Why are you asking about my old employer? I have worked somewhere else and I am not filing against them.
    All employers during the last 18 months are reviewed and contacted regarding your employment. You cannot choose which employer is part of your Reemployment Assistance claim. Please respond to all requests for information to ensure timely processing.
       
  • How long is the adjudication process?
    The adjudication process time frames vary based on several factors including the depth of the issue being reviewed. Commonly, adjudication timeframes fluctuate between two to six weeks for all reviews to be completed.
     
  • I received eligible determinations, why haven’t I been paid yet?
    Issues are reviewed separately. While you may receive an eligible determination, you may still have additional issues pending for review. Payments cannot process until all determinations have been completed and you have no disqualifications.  

  • Why have I not received a determination after completing my fact-finding?
    Responding to a fact-finding does not complete the review on an issue. The employer must respond (or fail to respond by their deadline) and an adjudicator must be available to review all submitted forms.

  • Can I speak with an adjudicator?
    Most issues under review do not require direct contact with an adjudicator for a determination to be made. Adjudicators review the fact-finding collected regarding the issues they review and will make a determination based on the available information. If conflicting information is received or the information requires additional research, an adjudicator will contact you to clarify details.  

  • I missed a call from an adjudicator. What do I do?
    If an adjudicator has contacted you and you have missed their call, please review their message carefully. They may request that you speak with them directly and set a deadline. Other times they may request that you log into CONNECT and complete additional fact-finding questions so they can render a determination.  

  • I disagree with my adjudication determination, now what do I do?
    You have the right to appeal the determination if you disagree with the “Reasoning & Findings” of the determination. Click here to file an appeal.

  • I was scheduled for an appointment with my local CareerSource do I have to go?
    Yes. If you are unable to attend, you may contact the location where you are scheduled in advance and you may be able to reschedule your appointment. Missing an appointment with the CareerSource requires an adjudicator to review your claim and determine if the appointment was missed due to good cause.

End of Your Claim

  • When does a claim end?
    The claim expires after 365 days. Payments end when the balance runs out OR the end date passes. Your monetary determination will notify you of your maximum balance available as well as the end date of your claim. In 2016, 12 weeks is the maximum number of weeks of assistance available.
  • I have returned to work. How do I close/cancel my claim?
    Congratulations on your new job! You may continue to request benefit weeks up to the week when you started 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 and/or earn over $275 in gross earnings during the week of overlap, you do not need to request benefits for that week.
  • My claim ran out of money, what do I do now?
    There are no additional funds available when your claim reaches a $0 balance. The message on your “Claimant Home” in CONNECT will provide the earliest date you are able to file a new claim for benefits. 

    You may be able to find additional local assistance by dialing 211 on your phone. This will connect you with your local United Way branch.

    If you are looking for other government programs offering assistance, you can try using the website www.benefits.gov.
  • Do you have extensions available?
    There are no extension programs available at this time. If you need additional assistance, please see our referral services as you may find assistance with other programs.

    If you are looking for other government programs offering assistance, you can try using the website www.benefits.gov.

Overpayments & Taxes

  • How do I send a repayment to DEO for an overpayment?
    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% of the total original balance is expected to be paid on a monthly basis. DEO will accept any repayments toward an overpayment.  

  • Why did I get this letter regarding the Treasury Offset Program (TOP)?
    Eligible debts owed to DEO will be noted within the issued letter and sent to the Department of Treasury in an effort to collect the amount due through your eligible federal tax refund. In addition, a $17 processing fee is added to the collection. The following are considered eligible debts:  
    • Delinquent debt as a result of fraud
    • Delinquent debt as a result of non-reported earnings
    • Legally enforceable debts  
  • I received a collections notice; do I pay it to you or pay it to the collection agency?
    You should pay the collection agency once any delinquent debts have been referred elsewhere and you have received notification.    

  • Why does the actual overpayment balance differ from what was provided by collections/TOP?
    If an overpayment requires a third party, either through a collection agency or through the TOP program, they will attach processing fees to the amount due. Any overpayment determined to have been fraudulent by the Department will also incur an additional 15% penalty to the original amount overpaid.  

  • Can I view my overpayments in CONNECT?
    You are not able to view overpayments in CONNECT. If you have questions regarding an overpayment balance, please contact the department at 1-800-204-2418.  

  • What constitutes fraud related to overpayments?
    To receive a fraud determination, the Department must conclude that you:  
    • Made false statements that may alter or increase benefits, OR
    • Withheld information that may alter or increase benefits, OR
    • Failed to report work in order to obtain or increase benefits, OR
    • Failed to report earnings in order to obtain or increase benefits

    Being “unaware” of Reemployment Assistance laws does not exempt you from a fraud determination. Please read all fraud statements carefully when submitting your application and any requests for benefits.
  • Are Reemployment Assistance benefits taxed?
    Yes, benefits are a taxable income. You can elect to withhold 10% 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.”  
  • What is a 1099-G?  What is a 49T?
    These are the two tax forms the department issues in January for the purposes of filing your taxes. The 1099-G will detail the amount of benefits paid to you during a specific year as well as any amounts withheld and paid to the IRS. The 49T will detail the amount of taxes paid to the IRS that should be returned to you resulting from repayments to DEO for an overpayment.   
  • How can I obtain a copy of my 1099-G and/or 49T for a tax year?
    You can receive a copy of your 1099-G/49T multiple ways:
    • A copy is mailed to the address in our records in January. Please log into CONNECT to update your address if you have moved prior to their release.
    • You can log into CONNECT and use the menu option “My 1099-Gs and 49Ts” to review the last several years of tax information.
    • You can request a copy of your 1099-G/49T from the last three years by e-mailing 1099G@deo.myflorida.com. Please include your name, last 4 digits of your Social Security number, previous address on file, current street address, a valid contact number, and the tax year you are requesting.
    • You can speak with an agent at 1-800-204-2418 who can assist in regaining access to your claim and/or submitting a request to issue duplicate information on your behalf.  
  • Why did I get a 1099-G for a year that I did not request benefits?
    Sometimes this occurs when your last weeks of benefits were paid at the beginning of the year. Other times, the department may complete adjudication that releases payments at a significantly later date. The easiest way to check on why a 1099-G was issued would be to log into CONNECT and review the “Payment History."
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