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Florida DEO Releases Unemployment Update

Many independent contractors (most Realtors) haven’t received federal funding yet, but the Fla. DEO issued FAQs, “employment scenarios” and updates about the process.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) issued a reemployment assistance update this week on its Reemployment Assistance (RA) Claims Dashboard. While the system still has problems – notably for Floridians applying as independent contractors, gig workers or the self-employed – more people are starting to see benefits.

Still, few of the recipients approved for Florida unemployment as of May 6 have seen the extra money offered through the federal CARES Act. According to DEO’s release, 486,155 claimants have received more than $1.06 billion so far from Florida’s unemployment program. But of those claimants, only 9,679 people have received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – the federal benefit available through July – with only a little more than $4.2 million paid to claimants.

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.

Many Realtors have already applied for PUA unemployment funds, and individuals impacted by COVID-19 who believe they’re eligible can go to www.FloridaJobs.org and select “File a Claim” to start the application process. DEO also now offers additional tools to help applicants understand the process:

Anyone who applied for the state’s Reemployment Assistance benefits on or after April 5, 2020, and was deemed ineligible for state benefits should receive additional application information from DEO. They can also visit DEOs CARES Act webpage for more information.

Realtors who applied for the state’s Reemployment Assistance benefits on or before April 4, 2020, should apply again by going to FloridaJobs.org and selecting “File a Claim” to request PUA.

For new applicants, Florida’s CONNECT online system operates 24 hours per day. For questions and follow-up processes, it’s available from 8 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. daily.

DEO also offers a mobile-friendly online application.

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