The CARES Act & the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

By June 16, 2020CARES Act, COVID-19

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) issued reemployment assistance updates on the Reemployment Assistance (RA) Claims Dashboard. This dashboard can be found here: http://lmsresources.labormarketinfo.com/covid19/index.html. The state notes that they paid 1,362,224 claimants a total of nearly $5.32 billion as of June 11, 2020.

Filing Requirements:

The state will continue to waive the work search requirement and work registration requirements for claimants through July 4, 2020. The waiting week requirement will be waived through August 1, 2020.

Also, to comply with federal law, claimants for all UI programs – regular benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – will be required to request benefits every two weeks beginning the weeks beginning May 10, 2020. By requesting benefits, claimants will confirm their unemployed status and acknowledge that they are able and available for work.

If claimants are receiving benefits and no longer wish to, they should stop claiming benefits. Payments will stop if weeks stop being claimed.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC):

The state announced that the PEUC program is now available. This program provides up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who exhausted their regular benefits.

Individuals will need to apply for PEUC benefits once they exhaust the balance of their current claim. Also, individuals who exhausted their benefits or have an expired claim (after July 1, 2019) will be able to apply too.

With PEUC, individuals may be eligible for up to $275 weekly benefits and an additional $600 through Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). The additional $600 through FPUC applies only to weeks of unemployment beginning March 29, 2020 and ending with the week ending July 25, 2020.

All individuals who participate in PEUC will still need to claim weeks on a biweekly basis, as well as certify that they remain unemployed and are able and available for work during the weeks they receive PEUC. The first week an individual can be eligible for this benefit is the week beginning March 29, 2020 and the last payable week is the week ending December 26, 2020.

  • Click here for PEUC Application Process.
  • Click here for PEUC Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Click here for COVID-19 Employment Scenarios.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA):

The PUA program provides unemployment benefits to individuals who may not otherwise be eligible, including independent contractors and those who are self-employed. Individuals impacted by COVID-19 can apply for benefits on the state’s website, http://www.floridajobs.org.

More Updates:

The state conducts nightly maintenance to the CONNECT system to process claims and payments. CONNECT is available from 8am to 7:59pm daily. This schedule does not affect anyone who wishes to file a new claim.

 

Our office will monitor COVID-19 updates closely and will send out additional announcements as we become aware of any updates. You can also review these updates on our website at http://www.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/ too.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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