The CARES Act & the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (II)

By April 9, 2020April 17th, 2020CARES ACT, COVID-19

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that they will take multiple actions assist with individuals’ ability to access their reemployment assistance program. The DEO experienced a historic increase in applications for reemployment assistance as a result of COVID-19. As a result, Florida’s governor signed Executive Order 20-93, which directed the DEO and other executive agencies to take any necessary actions to improve the state’s reemployment assistance program.

Ways to Apply for Reemployment Assistance:

The DEO announced a new, mobile-friendly online application for reemployment assistance. This application can be found at https://www.floridajobs.org/raapplication.

To use the online application or to download the paper application, please visit https://www.floridajobs.org/covid-19. If an individual chooses to submit a paper application, they should mail their application to DEO and a DEO representative will call them when their application has been processed.

The below steps should be completed to submit applications to the DEO.

  1. Collect all information needed:
  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or state ID number
  • Employment information for the last 18 months for each employer
  • Employer ID – FEIN number (this is found on a W2 or 1099 tax form) if available
  • Employer name (name on pay stub), address, and phone number
  • First and last day of work
  • Gross earnings (before taxes are taken out) covering the last 18 months
  • Reason for separation
  • Not a U.S. Citizen: Alien Registration Number or other work authorization form
  • Military employee: Copy of DD-214 Member 4; if he Member 4 is not available, then a copy of the Member 2-7 may be used
  • Federal employee: SF-8 or SF-50
  • Union member: Union name, hall number, and phone number
  1. Submit an application:

https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/_BGRCJ61RMi9WpwTGi-X9?domain=floridajobs.org

  • Paper applications can be mailed to:

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

P.O. Box 5350

Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350

CareerSource locations will assist with completing and submitting online applications. CareerSource can also provide paper applications to those without computer or internet access. Please visit CareerSource’s website for location: https://careersourceflorida.com.

FedEx will provide the option to print and mail applications at locations free of charge. Please visit FedEx’s website to find participating locations:  https://local.fedex.com/en-us/fl/.

  1. Receive application confirmation
  • A representative will contact individuals after their applications have been processed.
  • A written determination will be sent electronically and/or by mail to explain monetarily eligibility and what the weekly benefit amount will be, if applicable.

Waived Eligibility Requirements:

Moreover, Florida’s governor waived the following reemployment assistance requirements:

  • The waiting week has been waived to allow individuals to claim their first week of reemployment assistance.
  • The work search and work registration requirements have been waived so individuals are not required to register in Employ Florida or submit work searches on a biweekly basis.

 

Improved Technology:

The DEO enhanced CONNECT, their online application system for reemployment assistance. For instance, the DEO installed 72 new servers to increase CONNECT’s capacity. With these new servers, CONNECT can now handle up to 120,000 simultaneous connection. The DEO advised that they will add an additional 10 server to CONNECT within the week.

Customer Support:

As of last week, the DEO had nearly 200 associates working on the claims process. More than 500 associates will provide support to the claims process effective April 7, 2020. The DEO expects that this number will more than double by the end of next week.

Also, the Florida Department of Revenue provided an additional 579 associates to help process reemployment assistance applications. More than 2,300 state associates volunteered to be available to answer calls, reply to emails, and process applications as well.

CARES Act Reminder:

The DEO is working to integrate the CARES Act and its provisions of the CARES Act. The DEO will advise about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Assistance (PEUA) integration as soon as information becomes available.

DEO Information:

Information about reemployment assistance benefits and other helpful information can be found here: https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/65cRCzpAoDtW7OqsXoT76?domain=floridajobs.org.

A short, helpful video about the DEO’s reemployment assistance application process can be found here: https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/65cRCzpAoDtW7OqsXoT76?domain=floridajobs.org.

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 https://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.

More posts by Mike Parker

Leave a Reply