Florida Unemployment Application Information
Reemployment Assistance is a part of Florida Unemployment Compensation Services Program which provides temporary financial help to workers who lost their job through no fault on their own and which are eligible for this type of financial assistance.
Reemployment Assistance is created to help workers who unwillingly lost their jobs by providing temporary financial help until participants find new employment. This program actually offers a lot more than just a financial help. It offers the following benefits:
- Financial help on a weekly basis
- Job seeking assistance
- Skill training services
- Professional CV writing service and training on how to successfully pass an interview
- Job placement
- Information on other helpful resources and services
The most important aspect of Reemployment Assistance is that it's created for workers who lost their job through no fault on their own and who earned wages during the first four quarters of the previous five quarters prior to filing a claim. This means that you can receive benefits only in those cases when you actually get fired, not if you voluntarily quit. This also means that you won't be able to use Reemployment Assistance benefits in any of the following cases: If you find your job too hard; If you were underpaid; If your work environment was hostile; If you simply didn't like it. It's important to know that if you quit your job, no matter what reason it is, you're automatically ineligible for this program.
On the other hand, if you find your job inadequate for some reason, you'll need to take a certain steps in order to improve your situation. It's always advisable to talk to someone in the Human Resources department if you're working in such company. It will be also reviewed if you did anything to make them fire you, which will also make you ineligible.
Finally, a good advice is that you shouldn't sign any legal documents if your company decides to fire you without any good reason and if you plan on using financial help. If they present you with a paperwork, you should contact your lawyer or someone who can give you an advice on how to negotiate the terms of that agreement. You should always demand that the agreement state that you're being laid-off, not fired. Also demand that the company will not challenge your claim to collect unemployment benefits. This documents is usually called "Separation Agreement" and it's very wise to study it carefully and perhaps to consult a lawyer.
If you get approved for enrollment with the Reemployment Assistance program, make sure you carefully read all the terms of participation. The State of Florida has strict rules on using these benefits, so certain action are considered illegal and they can lead to criminal fines, jail or probation period. The most important rule is that it's illegal to work while you're collecting unemployment benefits and it's a crime to collect benefits if you're not eligible for them. In these cases you'll be asked to return all the money you previously collected as well as to pay a large criminal fine. In case you're not able to return it, you'll be convicted of unemployment fraud and you'll be probably sent to jail.
Besides these rules (which are considered as criminal acts), there are also some important rules you'll need to follow in order to continuously receive these benefits.
- You'll need to file a weekly certification, which is also known as a weekly claim. This is important part of your participation since this is the way to cooperate with your unemployment agency and tell them about your actions. You'll need to report on your progress on finding a job and if you received any income, from any sources outside Reemployment Assistance participation.
- You'll need to develop effective work search plan which will show that you're willing to accept any job you're qualified for, as soon as the opportunity comes up. Once again, the Employ Florida Marketplace is the perfect source of available jobs. This is where you can also get a training on new job skills.
- As soon as you start working, make sure you report to your unemployment agency. It's quite easy to use state and national track of new hires, so in case you're working and still receiving unemployment benefits you'll be asked to return the money and pay high criminal fine.
In order to enroll with the Reemployment Assistance program, you'll need to meet to following criteria:
- You need to be a U.S. citizen or a legal alien
- You need to reside in the state of Florida
- You need to be currently unemployed
- Termination of your previous employment should not be a consequence of your wrongful actions
- You need to meet the base period requirement
In order to be eligible for the Reemployment Assistance benefits you'll need to fulfill a general rule of the base period. This means that in order to be eligible, a person must have worked during the 4 quarters of the previous 5 completed quarters prior to applying for these benefits. There are also some specific eligibility requirements which are tied to the previously mentioned "base period" rule. These are:
- An individual should have been paid in two or more calendar quarters in the base period.
- Have at least $3,400 of net income in the base period.
- Finally, an individual needs to have total base period wages of at least 1 to 1/2 times the wages in the quarter having the highest earnings.
Finally, your earnings during the base period determine the amount of your weekly benefit. For example, for applications filed during the April, May or June of 2012, the base period is January 1st to December 31st of 2011. Now you'll need to see during which quarter of your base period you've had the highest earnings and divide that number by 26. Minimum weekly benefit can be $32, while maximum weekly benefit amount can be $275.
Unemployment Application Instructions
There are two ways to apply for Reemployment Assistance benefits: online or in person.
The most convenient way to apply is via Florida's Internet Claims Filling System (FLUID) by clicking here. This a web application where you enter all of the needed information. It should take approximately 30 to 60 minutes to fill out this online application. In case you need any help, you can follow a tutorial located here.
Apply in Person
In case you want to apply in person, you can visit one of the One-Stop Career Centers, where you can get answers to any questions or doubts you might have. For a complete listing of One-Stop Career Center by Florida's counties, visit this web page.
Preparing to File
Before proceeding with filling out your application, you'll need to know which documents and information you might possibly need. You'll usually need the following:
- Your Social Security number
- A complete listing of the jobs that you have had in the past. This listing needs to contain the names, addresses and phone numbers of your employers. (This is not always required).
- Gross earnings from each of your employers.
- In case you worked during that same week you want to apply, you'll need to report those earnings.
- An ID card. This can be you Driver's License or State Identification Card number.
- Information regarding your labor union hall, if applicable.
- In case you were on active military duty within the last two years, you'll need information from your number 4, DD-214.
- In case you were a federal employee within the last two years, you'll need you SF-50 or SF-8 form as well as your paystubs.
- Finally, if you're not a U.S. citizen, you'll need your Alien Registration Number as well as work permit expiration date.
You also need to know that there are 4 steps you'll need to take in order to start collecting your Reemployment Assistance benefits:
- The first step is to apply, or differently said - to file a claim. You can do this either online or by person in one of the One-Stop Career Centers.
- Now you'll need to wait until you receive a confirmation and further instructions. This confirmation will tell you that your claim has been received and it will contain information regarding the Initial Skills Review process.
- Before you enroll with this program, you'll also need to complete Initial Skills Review. There are 3 general areas which you'll need to pass and those are: Applied Mathematics as well as Reading for Information and Locating Information. The results of this review are used by your unemployment agency, which should ease up the job seeking process.
- This final step is actually a continuous process which is important part of your enrollment. You'll need to submit your Work Search Information every two weeks and you'll also need to "Claim your weeks". You can do this online, by following this link.
This service is also created in order to give you up-to-date information on your payment method and other specific information on your weekly benefits. You'll be obligated to submit at least five work search contacts, which are considered as a potential employers. You can also claim your weeks in person, by visiting one of the One-Stop Career Centers for each week you're out of the job.