The unemployment insurance (UI) program is supervised by the Department of Economic Opportunity in Florida. This program is also known the reemployment assistance (RA) insurance program. However, employment services are offered to residents of Florida through the Reemployment Assistance Center. The UI program is available in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Serbian, Bosnian-Croatian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Farsi, Russian, and Creole. You can contact the center by telephone at 1-800-204-2418 or through its “Contact Us” page online.
Eligibility & Benefits
To apply for the RA insurance program, you must meet a set of criteria that was designed to ensure individuals who are unemployed will get the assistance that they need. Thus, you must be unemployed due to no fault of your own. Moreover, you must be actively seeking employment, ready to work, and willing to take on a new job that is offered to you by the RA Center.
Work Search Requirement
Additionally, you must fulfill the work-search requirement that was implemented in recent years. You will be eligible on the condition that you meet with a career advisor, contact at least five perspective employers weekly, and complete an initial skills test. These additional requirements are designed to prove that you are skilled, able to work, and actively seeking a job.
Monetary Eligibility Requirement
Similar to other states, the maximum amount of benefits that you are eligible to receive will depend on the amount of income you earned during your “base period.” This base period is determined by using the first four completed quarters out of the last 18-month period before your claim is filed. In the state of Florida, you can earn up to a maximum of $275 per week through the RA insurance program. In order to receive weekly benefits, you must submit a claim for each week that you are unemployed. However, you can only benefit from a maximum of 26 weeks of UI payments, and the number of weeks that you can receive benefits will depend on your earnings from your base period.
How to File a Claim
In order to make the process simple and easy, an online system has been developed to help unemployed individuals with the application process for UI benefits. In fact, claims must be filed online through the reemployment assistance system known as “CONNECT.” The application process can take anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes. You will need the following items before you can start filing your claim:
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth, address, and telephone number
- Driver’s license or identification card
- Employment history from the last 18 months, which includes the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all your previous employers
- The dates of employment, your earnings, and the reasons for separation from all positions held within the last 18 months
- Gross earnings from the week in which your claim is sent (if applicable)
- Name, address, and phone number of your local union or labor hall (if you are a union member)