Florida government has passed a law to change the name of the unemployment compensation program to the re-employment assistance program. This change is necessary to improve the way that people look at the program as helpful for re-entry into the job force versus continuing to be an unemployed participant. This program offers unemployment benefits and opportunities to Florida residents. The change has no effect on individuals seeking or receiving unemployment benefits. The program still remains the same, it’s only a change of name.
How To Qualify For Unemployment Benefits In Florida
Before you become eligible for any unemployment benefits you have to meet certain criteria;
* You didn’t lose your job because of your negligence or fault; you should not quit your job willingly and shouldn’t be terminated due to misconduct.
* You can be partially or totally unemployed.
* Before making your claim you should at least have earned the minimum wage within the base period.
* You must be in the process of seeking a new job.
If you want to find out whether you’re eligible or not, you should consult your nearest career center and before applying for unemployment benefits you should gather the following documents/materials;
* Details of the previous employers you have worked with for the past eighteen months their names, phone numbers, and address.
* Social security number.
* The time frame you have worked and amount you were paid for the past 18 months.
* A valid ID card, you should come with a government-issued ID card for verification purposes. This could either be driver’s license or voter’s registration number.
* If you’re a member of any labor union you should provide the name and a local number of the union.
* If you have been in the military for the past 2 years, you should come with DD-214 form.
* Non-U.S indigenes should come with their work permit and alien registration number.
* If you have worked for the federal government you should come with Form SF-8 or form SF-50
You could be asked other things but these are some of the documents you might have to present if you want your unemployment benefits request to be approved in Florida.
You can apply for the unemployment benefits after 7 days of becoming unemployed. And the date you send your application determines when you’ll start receiving the benefits, most requests are processed within a few days. Florida unemployment claims are completed online, the entire process takes no more 60 minutes to complete, and you have 72 hours to complete the application if you exceed 72 hours you may have to start over again.
Submitting You Claim
If you need assistance during your application you can visit any of the available one-stop career centers to help on the process. When you’re done you’ll receive the confirmation message that your claim is received. If you’re not accepted it can take up to four (4) weeks before you receive your first payment. This is normally the waiting period and no benefits are paid to you. If you haven’t received a confirmation notice for a long time you can call the Claims Assistance Center to see if they can look into it.
When you receive the confirmation message you’ll also receive further instructions on initial skills review, this is like examination, but it isn’t because there’s no fail or pass with this short test review, all the answers you supply won’t affect your eligibility. Its purpose is to help you get more job opportunities.
The Amount You Receive
The amount received by each individual varies from one person to another, the only way to know whether you’re eligible or not is by submitting a claim. The amount given is about half of the wage you received from your previous job, and it shouldn’t exceed $275/week. Tips can be a special problem.
You can receive unemployment assistance for up to twenty-six weeks before you get a new job. Once you get a full-time job your benefits stop. But a part-time job does not disqualify you from receiving re-employment benefits.
As has been said you can receive unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks, if you, however, didn’t get any job till that time, you extend re-employment assistance for another 33 weeks through EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) program. But due to the current unemployment rate in Florida, it’s now almost impossible to get for an extension after 26 weeks of receiving benefits.
Additional Unemployment Benefits In Florida
Apart from the re-employment assistance program, there are other career service programs designed to help unemployed individuals. You have to apply for such programs separately and eligibility for one program does not prohibit individuals from applying for another program.
Contact Massey & Duffy to get the proper guidance on how to apply for unemployment benefits in Florida or to appeal an undesired decision from the re-employment program.