Claimant FAQ

Introduction

    Thank you for visiting the Reemployment Assistance (RA) Frequently Asked Questions page. Please select one of the topics below to see common questions about that area.     

Multi-factor Authentication and ID.me

How do I set up my Reemployment Assistance account with a multi-factor authentication method?

DEO implemented a new multi-factor authentication log-in process to better safeguard Florida’s Reemployment Assistance claimants. If you have not accessed your Reemployment Assistance account since September 2, 2021, you should review the Guide for Accessing Your Reemployment Assistance Account.

How do I change my Reemployment Assistance account log-in information?

The Reemployment Assistance Help Center can assist you with this process. Select “I am a Claimant,” then select “Account Login Assistance,” then “I need to update my Reemployment Assistance account log-in information,” and then select the option that best describes your account log-in issue.

Do I have to register with ID.me to apply for Reemployment Assistance benefits?

In addition to multi-factor authentication, you will be required to create an account and verify their identity with ID.me. ID.me continues to be a trusted technology partner of DEO, as well as federal government agencies and over 25 other states, in helping to keep individuals’ personal information safe. DEO encourages claimants, who have not previously done so, to create and verify their identity with ID.me before completing the multi-factor authentication process.

How do I create an ID.me account?

Visit the ID.me log-in page to learn more about setting up and protecting your ID.me account. Please note that Reemployment Assistance claimants under the age of 18 must call the Florida Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-833-FL-APPLY for assistance in verifying identity.

Reemployment Assistance

What is Reemployment Assistance?

Reemployment Assistance, federally known as Unemployment Insurance, is temporary income for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and are either looking for another job, have a definite recall within 6 weeks of the last day worked, or are in approved training. Reemployment Assistance is funded from taxes paid by employers.

If I quit my job, am I eligible for Reemployment Assistance benefits?

If you voluntarily quit your job, you must show that you quit your job for good cause. For DEO to determine your eligibility, you must complete an application for Reemployment Assistance benefits. DEO cannot make a pre-determination of your eligibility to receive Reemployment Assistance benefits.

If I was discharged from my job, am I eligible for Reemployment Assistance benefits?

If you were fired from your job, your employer must show good cause for letting you go, such as failure to follow rules, orders, or instructions, or for misconduct on the job. For DEO to determine your eligibility, you must complete an application for Reemployment Assistance benefits. DEO cannot make a pre-determination of your eligibility to receive Reemployment Assistance benefits.

What if I am not able or available to accept work for one or more weeks?

When you apply for Reemployment Assistance benefits, both the initial application and each week requested, you will be asked specific questions to determine if you meet the eligibility requirement that you are able and available to work. Ability refers to a claimant being physically and mentally capable of performing the duties of the job. Availability refers to a claimant actively seeking and being ready and willing to accept suitable work. DEO will review your responses and determine your eligibility to receive, or to continue receiving, Reemployment Assistance benefits.

Applying for Reemployment Assistance

What information and documents should I collect before beginning my application?

To ensure your application is complete and processed efficiently, you should have a copy of your valid government-issued picture identification, social security number, and employment information for the last 18 months for each employer. Employment information includes the following:Employer identification number(s), also known as a FEIN, if available. This number can be found on your IRS W-2 or 1099-G tax form.

  • Employer identification number(s), also known as a FEIN, if available. This number can be found on your IRS W-2 or 1099-G tax form.
  • Employer name listed on your paystub, address, and phone number.
  • First and last day of work.
  • Gross earnings (before taxes) covering the last 18 months.
  • Reason for job separation.

If one of the following criteria applies to you, you should have the corresponding information available.

  • Military employee: At least one of the following: most recent DD-214 Member 4, “orders to report”, “orders of release”, military earnings and leave statement, and/or W-2 form(s) from your most recent military service.
  • Federal employee: Standard Form 50, Standard Form 8, W-2 form, or pay stubs (if you worked for the federal government at any time during the last 18 months).
  • Union member: Union name, hall number, and phone number.
  • Non-Citizen: A copy of your Employment Authorization Document or your Alien Registration Number.

Why are you asking about my previous 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 do I apply for Reemployment Assistance benefits?

You can complete an application for Reemployment Assistance benefits in-person by visiting your local CareerSource center or online at FloridaJobs.org. Please visit CareerSourceFlorida.com to find location and contact information. DEO recommends calling to confirm the hours of operation.
Florida’s Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System, CONNECT, is available from 8:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. CONNECT offers access for claimants to apply, file, manage, and review claim details. Please note that CONNECT may be temporarily offline throughout the night and weekends to process payments and applications.

Will I receive confirmation after my application is submitted and received?

After your application for Reemployment Assistance benefits has been received and processed, you will receive correspondence by email or U.S. mail.

Are Reemployment Assistance benefits retroactive to the day I lost my job?

No. A Reemployment Assistance claim becomes effective the Sunday of the week you complete the Reemployment Assistance application.

When will I receive my benefit payments?

You are scheduled to request your benefits every two weeks. Completing this process submits your request for payment during your week(s) of unemployment, even when your claim is pending for review. It is important that you request your benefits within 14 days of your scheduled date regardless of your claim status.

What do I do once I complete my application?

You are required to register with Employ Florida. When creating (or updating) your Employ Florida profile, you must provide a valid email address, create or upload a current resume, and complete the background history section of your profile.
During the initial processing of your claim, many reviews of your eligibility for benefits occur. You will receive correspondence, based on your preference, to check your Reemployment Assistance account inbox. Please complete any requests for information as soon as possible.
You may be selected and scheduled for a mandatory appointment with your local CareerSource office. 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 your Reemployment Assistance and Employ Florida account are up to date. Failure to participate in your scheduled appointment will result in a review of your eligibility and potentially delay or deny your benefits.

Are Reemployment Assistance benefits taxed?

Yes, Reemployment Assistance benefits are a taxable income. You can elect to withhold 10% of your weekly benefits due to the IRS in your Reemployment Assistance account by selecting "View and Maintain Account Information," and then selecting "Payment Method and Tax Withholding Options."

Reemployment Assistance IRS 1099-G Tax Form

What is an IRS 1099-G tax form?

1099-G Form, “Certain Government Payments,” is a federal tax form filed by federal, state, or local government entities if they provide Reemployment Assistance benefit payments to eligible claimants. This form is also provided to claimants to show the total amount of unemployment compensation paid to the claimant during the calendar year 2021. In addition to the total benefit payments issued during calendar year 2021, the amount reported on the 1099-G Form includes refunds, credits, or offsets of state or local income tax a claimant received, as well as any Federal income tax requested to be withheld from the claimant’s Reemployment Assistance benefits.

When will I receive my IRS 1099-G tax form?

Your 1099-G Form will be available in your Reemployment Assistance account inbox no later than January 31. If you chose US mail as your communication method, we will also mail you a copy. If you would like to update your method of communication from the Department, you can do so in your Reemployment Assistance account.

How can I obtain a copy of my 1099-G Form for this tax year or a prior tax year?

You can receive a copy of your 1099-G Form multiple ways:

  • The fastest way to receive a copy of your 1099-G Form is by selecting "electronic" as your preferred method for correspondence. You can log-in to your Reemployment Assistance account and go to "My 1099-G" in the main menu to view the last five years of your 1099-G Form document.
  • If you selected “US Mail” as your preferred correspondence method, a copy of your 1099-G Form will be mailed, no later than January 31st, to the address the Department has on file associated with your account. It is important that your mailing address is accurate and updated in your Reemployment Assistance account at all times. If you have mail forwarding, the United States Postal Service should forward your tax forms. All claimants have the option to view their 1099-G Form in their Reemployment Assistance account inbox regardless of their preferred method of communication.
  • To request a duplicate or amended 1099-G Form, please visit the Reemployment Assistance Help
    Center, locate “Tax Documents,” and select the option that best describes your request.

Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System (CONNECT)

What is CONNECT?

CONNECT is Florida’s Reemployment Assistance claims system. CONNECT offers access to apply, file, manage, and review your claim details.

How can I reset my PIN to access my Reemployment Assistance account?

Please visit the RA Help Center for assistance with resetting your PIN.

I received a technical error in CONNECT. What should I do?

There are two common causes to technical issues with CONNECT:

  • You may need to clear your cache or browser history. You can do this in your web browser settings.
  • CONNECT is not compatible with mobile devices. CONNECT was designed for desktop computers.
  • CONNECT is most compatible with Internet Explorer, but also works in other internet browsers.

I used to have notices in my inbox. Why don’t I see anything in my inbox?

After you review an item in your inbox, 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 items displayed, select the “Search” button with no search information entered. All correspondence will show in your inbox. You can watch a video to help you navigate your inbox here.

I am having trouble opening items in my CONNECT inbox. How can I access these documents?

Please verify the following as these are common issues surrounding opening correspondence:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed and up to date.
  • You are using a computer, not a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet.
  • Make sure you are using a compatible browser.
  • Disable any pop-up blockers that may prevent PDF documents from opening.

How do I change the type of communication I receive?

After logging in to CONNECT:

  1. Select “View and Maintain Account Information” from the main menu.
  2. Select “Contact Information.”
  3. Select “Edit.”
  4. Select your new correspondence preference.
  5. Make sure all your contact information is up to date.
  6. Select “Submit.”

I cannot enter one of my employers in the CONNECT application, what do I do?

Please check for 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 in the Reemployment Assistance system.
  • The employment is not already on the claim. You can use the “Previous” button to return and double check.
  • Carefully review the error message you receive as this will help us correcting the error. If the problem persists, please contact the department at 1-833-FL-APPLY (1-833-352-7759) for assistance.

Will I be paid for my waiting week? Do I have to serve a waiting week each time I reactivate my claim?

You are not paid for the waiting week. You serve only one waiting week per benefit claim year.

What information is needed for a valid work search contact?

For each job contact, the following details are required:

  • Date of contact.
  • Method of contact (in person, online, fax, phone, etc.).
  • Business name, telephone number, and complete address, and website or email.
  • 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 are on a temporary layoff and will return to the same employer within 8 weeks, you are exempt from work search requirements.
  • If you are a part of an approved training program, you are exempt from 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 1-833-FL-APPLY (1-833-352-7759) for assistance.

I haven’t been able to claim my weeks because I can’t log-on to CONNECT. Will I lose my benefits for that week?

If you missed the opportunity to request Reemployment Assistance benefits, then you can visit the Reemployment Assistance Help Center to request that the missed weeks be made available. In the Reemployment Assistance Help Center select “I am a Claimant,” then “Benefit Payment Assistance,” and then select the option that best describes your issue.

Receiving Reemployment Assistance Benefit Payments

How often will I receive Reemployment Assistance benefit payments?

Reemployment Assistance is paid on a biweekly basis.

How will I receive the benefits once my Reemployment Assistance application has been processed?

Floridians have two options for receiving benefits during the application process.

  1. Direct Deposit: This process may take 1-2 business days to reflect in your bank account after your application has been processed.
  2. Way2Go Debit Card: Debit cards are mailed after the first payment is processed and may take 7-10 business days to receive by mail.

When will I receive my debit card?

The Way2Go 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, it is 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 at:
U.S.: 1-833-888-2780
International: 1-210-334-6615 (This includes Puerto Rico. This line is not toll-free.)

Why do I have a negative balance on my debit card?

The debit card provider 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. Our card 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 www.goprogram.com for more information.

What is the duration and maximum amount of benefits I can receive?

Florida’s duration of benefits  adjust based on the state’s unemployment rate, but the maximum amount of benefits remains the same.

2022 Claim Maximums: 12 weeks

  • Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA): $275
  • Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA): $3300

2021 Claim Maximums: 19 weeks

  • Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA): $275
  • Maximum Benefit Amount (MBA): $5225

How are my benefits calculated?

Your benefits are calculated as followed:

  • The wages used to determine your benefit amounts are the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters.
  • Claims filed as of July 3, 2022, use wages earned between April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022.
  • Once we have the wages on record, we verify the following to determine if you are eligible for benefits:
    • $3,400 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) is the highest quarter divided by 26 or the weekly amount $275, whichever is less.
  • Maximum Benefit Amount (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.

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.

Reemployment Assistance Appeals

What if I disagree with my Reemployment Assistance benefit determination?

You have the option to request an appeal within 20 calendar days after the distributed date of the determination. You may file an appeal in your Reemployment Assistance account, by mail or in the Reemployment Assistance Help Center by selecting “I am a Claimant,” and then “Appeal Assistance."

Can I submit a late appeal request?

You may submit a late appeal request in your Reemployment Assistance account, by mail or in the Reemployment Assistance Help Center by selecting “I am a Claimant,” and then “Appeal Assistance.”
The Department of Economic Opportunity
Office of Appeals
P.O. Drawer 5250
Tallahassee, FL 32399-5250

Should I continue to request benefit payment while I am awaiting my appeal hearing?

Yes, you should continue to request benefit payments if you remain unemployed.

Adjudication

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, email, or through your CONNECT Inbox.

How long is the adjudication process?

Time frames vary based on several factors including the depth of the issue being reviewed.

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 or issues that are disqualifying.

I disagree with my adjudication determination, what should I do?

You have the right to appeal the determination if you disagree with the “Reasoning and Findings” of the determination.

Reemployment Assistance Overpayments

How does an overpayment happen? and if I get an overpayment, how will I know?

Overpayments can occur on your account at any time. Overpayments may be the result of oversight, misunderstanding, technical errors, redetermination, adjudication, appeals decisions, Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission orders, court decisions or other mitigating circumstances.

How can I repay an overpayment?

You have the option to pay back overpayments multiple ways. These options are listed below:

  • Check Payments – Please mail a check payment to the address below. Please make your check payable to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and provide your claim ID number in the memo line.

The Department of Economic Opportunity
Benefit Payment Control
P.O. Drawer 5050
Tallahassee, FL 32314-5050

  • Credit Card Payments – You have the option to pay your overpayment online by credit card. Please visit the link below and follow the directions to repay your overpayment by credit card.
    https://ucoverpayments.floridajobs.org/

I received a collections notice; do I pay it to you or pay it to the collection agency?

You should pay the collection agency.

Ending Reemployment Assistance Claims

When does a claim end?

A claim expires after 365 days. Payments end when the balance runs out or the end date passes.

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 your Reemployment Assistance account will provide the earliest date you are able to file a new claim for benefits.

Do you have extensions available?

There are no extension programs available. For other government programs offering assistance, please visit www.benefits.gov

Fraud and Identity Theft

Where can I report identity theft or fraud?

If you, or someone you know, is a victim of identity theft, please visit the Reemployment Assistance Help Center to notify DEO. In the Reemployment Assistance Help Center you should select “Report ID theft / fraud,” and follow the prompts to complete the report.

How can I protect myself from becoming a victim of identity theft?

There are multiple ways you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of Identity Theft. Please review Florida’s Identity Theft Victim Kit for resources about how to protect yourself before or after you become a victim of identity theft.

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