Reemployment Assistance & Short-Time Compensation Program. What’s your role?

Reemployment Assistance

If your employment has been negatively impacted because of mitigation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance.  If you need assistance, the unemployment assistance hotline is now available seven days a week at 1-800-681-8102.

Individuals who are eligible for Reemployment Assistance may include:

  • 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

Reemployment Assistance benefits, formerly known as unemployment compensation, can be filed by printing and mailing the application or online using CONNECT. If you have never filed in Florida before, use the “File a New Claim” link to start your application and create a profile. If you have filed previously, please log in using your Social Security number and PIN. If you no longer have your PIN, select the “Forgot PIN” button to regain access to your account. On April 8th the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced a new, mobile-friendly online Reemployment Assistance application.

To comply with federal law, weeks beginning May 10, 2020, claimants will be required to return to the CONNECT system every two weeks to request their benefits or “claim their weeks.” In so doing, claimants will confirm that they are still unemployed and acknowledge that you are able and available for work. You must claim your weeks in order to receive benefits. Claimants will be able to request a benefit payment for each week available. Governor DeSantis has, however, directed to waive the work search and work registration requirements for claimants through May 30, 2020. However, answers to work search questions are still required to process your claim in the CONNECT system but will not impact benefit payments.

Before filing, make sure you have the following information available:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license or State ID number
  • Your employment for the last 18 months including for each employer: Name, address, and phone number, First and last day of work, Gross earnings (before taxes are taken out) during the listed dates
  • The reason for separation
  • FEIN (this is found on any W2 or 1099 tax forms you have received). If you don’t have the FEIN, you can use employer details off of a recent paystub.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides unemployment benefits to those that may not otherwise be eligible under Florida’s state Reemployment Assistance program, including independent contractors and individuals who are self-employed. Individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19 and believe they may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, can visit www.FloridaJobs.org and select “File a Claim” to apply and be considered for PUA.  Individuals who applied for the state’s Reemployment Assistance benefits on or after April 5, 2020, and were deemed ineligible for state Reemployment Assistance benefits will receive additional application information from the Department. They can also visit www.FloridaJobs.org/cares-act for more information regarding these programs.

Employer Roles

As an employer, it is required that you respond to all documents and forms electronically using Florida’s RA claims system, CONNECT, unless otherwise exempt. It is important that you respond in a timely manner in order to properly manage your reemployment tax, benefit charges and prevent RA fraud.

Short-Time Compensation Program

The Short-Time Compensation Program is a voluntary employer program designed to help employers maintain their staff by reducing the weekly working hours during temporary slowdowns instead of temporarily laying off employees. Short-Time Compensation (STC) permits pro-rated Reemployment Assistance (RA) benefits to employees whose work hours and earnings are reduced as part of a STC plan to avoid total layoff of some employees. If an employer establishes a Short-Time Compensation Plan and an employee meets the qualifications to file a reemployment assistance claim in the state of Florida, the employee will receive a partial reemployment check to supplement their reduced paycheck. Read more.

  • Employer Role
    To apply for the Short-Time Compensation Program (required for employees to submit a reemployment claim), please follow this link to the Employer Login page of CONNECT. Read more information for employers here.

    • As an employer, you must complete a Short-Time Compensation Plan application. A Short-Time Compensation Plan lasts for one year but can be renewed if your employees have returned to full-time work during the plan year.
    • At least 10% (not less than 2) of your employees in your total staff or in a particular department must work reduced hours.
    • Employers must certify that they will reduce the employees normal number of weekly work hours by 10%, but no more than 40%.
    • The employees in the affected units must be identified by name and social security number.
    • Employers must name the employee participating in the program and must provide the Department of Economic Opportunity with the employee’s normal weekly hours (excluding overtime).
    • The situation must be temporary rather than a temporary layoff.
  • Employee Role
    • You must be a full-time employee, (not part-time or seasonal) with a standard number of hours worked each week (excluding overtime). You must meet all of the normal requirements to establish a Florida reemployment claim and you must provide the Department of Economic Opportunity with any necessary information or documentation.
    • While on the Short-Time Compensation program you must work and/or receive paid leave for ALL of the hours that your employer has you scheduled to work in order to receive Short-Time Compensation Benefits for a week.
    • Every two weeks you will be required to report your hours worked, plus any hours of paid leave from your Short-Time Compensation employer and if you have a part-time job, earnings from that part-time job.
    • Employees must work at least 60%, but no more than 90% of their normal work hours, to qualify for STC benefits.
  • Benefits
    • Employees are spared the hardships of full unemployment, and employers retain employees who can resume high production levels when business conditions improve.
    • Employers avoid the expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new workers when business conditions improve.
    • Affected employees may continue to work at reduced levels with an opportunity to find other employment before the expected layoff.