The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity now says anyone who was declared ineligible for unemployment benefits who applied on or before April 4 will need to reapply because of Florida law and the start of a new quarter.
Tuesday the DEO released a chart showing that workers who qualify for federal pandemic benefits, including contractors, gig workers and self-employed individuals and received a notice they were ineligible would need to re-submit their applications. Over 40 percent of some 824,000 claims were declared ineligible on Monday, after a weekend where the DEO Connect system was down for maintenance.
This applies to a lot of “gig” workers — Uber drivers and other freelancers — who would not be eligible for state of Florida benefits of $275 per week who would be eligible for up to $600 per week through the federal CARES Act until July 31.
A state statute that requires unemployed individuals to re-apply at the start of a new quarter (the first quarter ended March 31) was never addressed, suspended or changed when the pandemic started and mass layoffs, furloughs and reduction in hours for those still employed happened quickly.
“Many individuals who filed a claim in the first quarter of the year (prior to April 5), because of state law (Section 443.036(10) they will need to file a new state Reemployment Assistance application for the second quarter of the year,” DEO Director of Communication Tiffany Vause said. “They should go to FloridaJobs.org and select ‘File a Claim’ and this will assist them.”
Those who applied on or after April 5 will need to wait to hear from the DEO for more information.
After successfully submitting the application, they will be contacted to complete additional questions in the CONNECT system to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
A DEO dahsboard shows it has paid 392,051 claims more than $523 million in benefits.