Across the U.S., nearly 3.3 million workers applied for jobless benefits more than quadruple the previous record set in 1982.
The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday more than 74,000 Floridians applied for unemployment benefits last week, a tenfold increase from the previous week, as the spread of the novel coronavirus shut down the state’s theme parks and visitors stayed away from its hotels and airports.
Persons who were furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19 should file for these benefits as soon as possible. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released information about filing for reemployment benefits amid the pandemic. Here
In Florida these benefits are called reemployment assistance and are designed to help people who are recently unemployed because they were laid of, fired or if they left their employer.
Who qualifies due to coronavirus, according to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity:
- 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 for reemployment benefits and what you will need:
- 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 login 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.
Note: The website and hotlines in Florida are backlogged and many people are reporting hours-long wait times or they are unable to log in to file. The DOE is working to hire more staff and add more servers to handle the increased demand.