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Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Provides Weekly Reemployment Assistance Update - May 4

May 04, 2021


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) issued its weekly Reemployment Assistance updates. Daily updates can be found on the Reemployment Assistance (RA) Claims Dashboard.

PAYMENT PROGRESS:

  • As of May 3, DEO has paid 2,359,064 claimants more than $27.1 billion ($27,173,703,232). Over 5.4 million (5,420,815) unique claims have been processed, representing 98.9 percent of unique claims submitted. 
  • 97.5 percent of all eligible benefits requested prior to April 16, 2021, for state Reemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have been paid to claimants. Additionally, 99.9 percent of all eligible benefits requested by claimants for weeks of unemployment prior to July 25, 2020, have also received their corresponding Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits for that week. 
  • If a claimant has not received benefits or all of the benefits they believe they are entitled to, they should:
    • Check that they have requested benefits; 
    • Check that the weeks they are requesting are eligible weeks; and 
    • Check that their account information in CONNECT is up-to-date and accurate.
  • If a claimant needs additional assistance, they should call the Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-833-FL-APPLY.
  • DEO would like to remind claimants that it is important to continue requesting benefits to receive payment. This video and guide may be helpful. 


UPDATES:


Waivers

  • DEO issued Executive Order 21-015 to continue waiving the work search and work registration requirements through May 29, 2021, and the waiting week requirement through June 26, 2021.
  • When the waiver expires, claimants must submit work searches for every week of state or federal benefits requested. Additionally, new claimants who file after the expiration of the waiver must complete the work registration through Employ Florida. To determine how many work searches you will be required to complete, click here.
  • An accurate work search record may include, but is not limited to, registering for work and reemployment services with a local CareerSource Center, completing a job application in person or online, mailing a job application or resume, making in-person visits with potential employers, interviewing with potential employers, or registering for work with employment or placement agencies to name a few.
  • The Department encourages claimants to continue searching for work regardless of the waiver extension.


Job Opportunities

  • The state of Florida has more than 400,000 online job ads available for Floridians. Click here for more information.
  • DEO is hiring across the state. To view a list of vacant opportunities, click here.  
  • Floridians in search of work and new job opportunities are encouraged to turn to the CareerSource Florida network for help. Floridians can also find guidance to register with Employ Florida and search listings of available local job openings here.


Additional Resources

  • If an individual is not eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance benefits, there are additional resources readily available to Floridians and their families.
  • DEO, in partnership with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), provide additional opportunities and resources for Florida families who need additional assistance. Resources include food assistance for low-income households, medical assistance, and temporary financial assistance to families who qualify. For more information, click here.


Federal Overpayment Waiver

  • Eligible claimants who are currently receiving federal Reemployment Assistance benefits may be eligible to receive an overpayment waiver for overpayments established on their claims.
  • At this time, CONNECT has been updated to implement a waiver form for newly established overpayments for claimants receiving PUA and PEUC benefits.
  • The overpayment waiver for MEUC, FPUC, and LWA benefits will be available to claimants soon.
  • The overpayment waiver will not be available for state Reemployment Assistance benefits.
  • Eligible claimants must meet the following criteria to quality to receive an overpayment waiver:
    • The claimant must not be at fault for the creation of the overpayments; and
    • Recovery of the overpayment would be contrary to equity and good conscience
  • For more information about the federal Overpayment Waiver, click here.


Employer Updates

  • Individuals not returning to work when work is available or do not show good cause in refusing an offer of work could potentially be disqualified from receiving Reemployment Assistance benefits. This also applies to the federal benefit programs authorized under the CARES Act and Continued Assistance Act. 
  • If a prospective employee refuses an offer to work, employers can report this refusal to work through the Reemployment Assistance Help Center.
  • A new law, recently signed by Governor DeSantis, changes Florida’s reemployment tax rate computation for 2021. Florida Employers’ individual Reemployment Tax rates are now available in their online accounts at https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/filepay. The Florida Department of Revenue will also be providing revised RT-20s to employers. The revised RT-20s will be mailed in the coming weeks. The Tax Information Publication (TIP) about the Reemployment Tax changes can be found online, here
  • The due date for payment of reemployment tax for the quarter that ended March 31, 2021, has been extended to May 31, 2021. This extension applies only to the payment; to be considered timely, employers must complete and file the Employer’s Quarterly Report (Form RT-6) no later than April 30, 2021.
  • DEO has developed additional guides for employers to better understand how to navigate the CONNECT system. To view these guides, click here.

Identity Verification and Identity Theft

  • DEO has recently provided claimants the option to verify their identity through ID.me, if they have a "locked" claim status.
  • If a claimant has already verified their identity through ID.me, the claimant does not need to re-verify their claim. However, you may be prompted to login to ID.me using multifactor authentication throughout the Reemployment Assistance claims process.
  • If the claimant has a "locked" claim status, the link to verify their identity can be found on their CONNECT homepage. For more information about ID.me, click here.
  • DEO is aware of an issue where some claims are being re-locked in CONNECT after a claimant verifies their identity through ID.me. DEO is working diligently to resolve the issue and unlock claims that have been re-locked. For existing claimants who have verified their identity, please allow 24-48 hours for your claim to be unlocked.
  • DEO also provided an identity theft toolkit which details what Floridians should do if they are a victim of identity theft and steps they should take to mitigate fraudulent activity on their account. To view the identity theft toolkit, click here.
  • Any new claimant filing for Reemployment Assistance will need to verify their identity through ID.me. For more information about ID.me visit the claimant resource page, here.
  • DEO launched an online fraud form providing Floridians the opportunity to report instances of Reemployment Assistance fraud or identity theft. If someone is aware of any instance of Reemployment Assistance fraud or believes they are a victim of Reemployment Assistance identity theft, please click here and select the “Online Fraud Form” to provide the Department with additional information about fraudulent claims. 


Reemployment Assistance

  • DEO launched a Reemployment Assistance Help Center, an online portal where claimants or employers can receive and provide additional information to the Department regarding Reemployment Assistance. Individuals can also notify the Department of suspected Reemployment Assistance fraud or identity theft. To access this new online portal, click here.
  • Any new state Reemployment Assistance claims filed January 1, 2021, and forward are eligible for up to 19 weeks of benefits instead of 12 weeks of benefits.


American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

  • As a result of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, PEUC and PUA benefit programs have been extended to September 6, 2021.
  • FPUC, which provides an additional $300 for eligible claimants, has also been extended to September 6, 2021. 
  • DEO has recently incorporated the Department of Labor's guidance on the expansion of PUA eligibility for claimants. When claimants request their benefit payments, they should now be able to review the expanded eligibility provisions in their CONNECT account.
  • Claimants should continue to request their benefit payments as weeks become available in their CONNECT account if they remain unemployed. DEO encourages individuals to continue checking their CONNECT account every 48 hours for additional updates or notifications from the Department.


Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation

  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) is a federally funded program that provides an additional $100 per week to eligible individuals in addition to the benefits they are currently receiving. MEUC is not available to claimants who are currently receiving PUA benefits.
  • Claimants may be eligible for MEUC if they have received at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment for the tax year prior to their initial claim.
  • MEUC benefits are in addition to the $300 supplemental FPUC benefit programs, which expires on September 6, 2021.
  • DEO recently began issuing MEUC payments to eligible claimants. Information about MEUC payments can be found under "View and Maintain Account Information" in CONNECT.
  • Eligible claimants can apply for MEUC benefits here. For information on how to apply for MEUC, click here.


Claimant 1099-G Tax Form and Filing Federal Income Taxes

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recommends claimants should file their income taxes and only include income they actually received. Claimants should not wait to receive a corrected 1099-G Tax Form to file annual income taxes.
  • For more information about 1099-G Tax Forms and filing your income taxes, click here.
  • If a claimant did not receive their 1099-G tax form, they received a 1099-G Tax Form by mistake, their 1099-G Tax Form is incorrect, or they cannot access their 1099-G Tax Form, visit 1099grequest.myflorida.com.
  • DEO has created Frequently Asked Questions to provide more information about the 1099-G Tax Form.


CONNECT Hours

  • DEO will be conducting nightly maintenance to the CONNECT system to process claims and payments. CONNECT's regularly scheduled hours are from 8 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. daily, Monday - Friday.
  • Beginning Saturday, May 8, through Sunday, May 9, CONNECT will be unavailable to claimants while the Department works to continue to process payments, and send necessary correspondence to claimants. CONNECT will be available Monday, May 10, at 8:00 a.m.
  • This schedule does not affect individuals who wish to file a new claim. Individuals can file a new claim 24 hours a day, seven days per week atwww.FloridaJobs.org and select "File a Claim."  

Customer Service Centers

  • Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Centers are available this week Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. for all account inquiries and questions. On Saturday, May 8, through Sunday, May 9, staff resources will be dedicated to processing claims and payments. The Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Center will reopen Monday, May 10, at 7:30 a.m.
  • Claimants can now communicate online with a live Reemployment Assistance Customer Service Representative for assistance with their Reemployment Assistance claim. Claimants can visit the claimant homepage and select the chat icon to begin talking with a Representative.
  • DEO has shifted priorities for 200 Customer Service Representatives to assist claimants by utilizing the new online chat feature. Claimants may experience some wait time, but a representative will assist as soon as they become available.

About DEO

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org.

 

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