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State Gears Up For Additional Unemployment Applications. Here's How You Can Apply:


Florida plans to hire 100 new people to take calls from residents requesting unemployment assistance. The move comes as calls to the state agency that distributes unemployment assistant surge.

There were more than 130,000 calls to Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity last week as businesses closed doors to prevent the spread of the virus. That’s up from only 28,000 calls the week before.

That prompted the DEO to hire 100 new customer service positions in Orlando and Tallahassee to field questions about Floridians hoping to apply for reemployment assistance.

The DEO says more than 5,300 residents have applied for reemployment assistance last week. The state provides money for those who are out of work and who meet certain criteria -- up to $275 a week.

People filing for reemployment assistance will not have to prove they are looking for a new job as state leaders have directed people to minimize public contact.

Who is eligible?

The state said if your employment has been negatively impacted as a result of the mitigation efforts in Florida to stop the spread of
COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance. That includes:

  • Those who are quarantined 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 concerns
  • Those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.

How to apply

Those interested in applying can visit Click on the Reemployment Assistance Service Center in the right hand corner of the page and select 'claimants'.

People who need assistance filing a claim online because of legal reasons, computer illiteracy, language barriers, or disabilities may call

What will I need?

You will need the following information to complete an application

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s License or State ID
  • Your last 18 months of employment (including name, separation reason, earnings, and dates of work)
  • Work authorization (if not a US citizen)
  • DD-214 member 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 (if a military employee)
  • SF 8 or SF 50 (if a federal employee)

What's next?

Your claim has two levels of review after you complete an application:

  • Your history of wages are reviewed to determine if you have earned enough to qualify for benefits
  • Any issues (such as job separation) found during your application are reviewed to determine eligibility

You must login to the CONNECT system every two weeks to request benefit payment. Your first date to return to CONNECT is provided at the end of your application. You must request benefits even while your claim is being reviewed.

Information provided by Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. View a FAQ here (pdf)

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to Central Florida in 2005 to attend the University of Central Florida. He began working at WMFE as a college intern where he discovered his love for public radio.