Florida unemployment office rolls back on requirements to seek benefits

Decision is to remove barriers relating to coronavirus unemployment

Answering your unemployment questions

MIAMI, Fla. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is waiving requirements for reemployment assistance.

The office made the announcement Tuesday, saying the decision is to help remove barriers to accessing reemployment assistance in the wake of unprecedented job losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: How to file for unemployment benefits during coronavirus pandemic | Florida working to keep up with coronavirus unemployment assistance calls, applications]

The department says applicants no longer need to register online or show they’re available for work. The order is retroactive to March 15 and in effect until May 2.

People who are furloughed or laid off due to the coronavirus outbreak can file for these benefits. The department has provided a guide for filing here.

The DEO’s qualifications to apply for COVID-19 unemployment include the following:

  • People who were ordered to quarantine by a medical professional or a government agency.
  • Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19.
  • Those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with the virus.

Here are the steps to file to reemployment benefits:

  • Visit www.floridajobs.org to submit your application on the CONNECT platform here.
  • You will need: Social Security number, driver’s license or state ID, your past 18 months of employment -- including name of employer, separation reason, earnings and dates of employment. If you are not a U.S. citizen you will also need work authorization, military employees will need DD-214 member 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 and federal government employees need a SF 8 or SF 50.
  • Your claim will then go to review to determine if you qualify.
  • Following your application, applicants must log in to the CONNECT system every two weeks to request benefit payment. You will receive a date at the end of your application telling you when to return to CONNECT.

The department’s call center at 1-800-681-8102 is open seven days a week due to the increase in calls. The call line is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. on weekends.

Please note that there is a backlog of calls and online requests, meaning it may take longer than usual for applicants to get assistance.

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