What to know about filing a Florida unemployment claim, including using the state’s new mobile app

What to know about filing a Florida unemployment claim, including using the state’s new mobile app

After weeks of embarrassment, Florida hopes it has tamed its troubled unemployment system, which has locked out thousands of unemployed workers since the coroanvirus paralyzed the economy in late March. A new “mobile friendly” website went online Wednesday to accommodate incalculable numbers of people who have been unable to break through on the agency’s failed CONNECT system. People who have been unable to connect should now use www.FloridaJobs.org/RAApplication , the agency said. The old school paper application, submitted by mail, was pressed into action this week to circumvent the computer problems. Since the third week of March, out-of-work Floridians have overwhelmed the unemployment system as hotels, bars, restaurants, stores and other businesses shut down to comply with the government’s stay-at-home orders. Ken Lawson, executive director of the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees the unemployment system, wound up apologizing to lawmakers for the claims debacle. The department is “working around the clock to make the process for applying for Reemployment Assistance as easy as possible for Floridians,” he said. Who is eligible? Any state resident thrown out of work due to COVID-19 can apply. Since the week of March 20, an estimated 470,000 people have filed claims with the state, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. How much money do you get? Under the new federal CARES Act, jobless workers are entitled to $600 a week in federal money through the end of July. That would be paid on top of the maximum $275 a week Florida pays through the 12 weeks it offers benefits. When should you apply? Immediately after you lose your job. “You might lose out on some of the federal benefits depending on the time in which you apply for unemployment,” said Michael Pike, a labor and employment lawyer with Pike & Lustig […]

Original Post www.sun-sentinel.com

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