Frequently Asked Questions
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Do I need to pay back my unemployment benefits?
No. The Reemployment Assistance Program is not a loan. The benefits that claimants receive from the program do not need to be paid back, even after the claimant is hired with a full-time job and finished with the program.
Why do I need a PIN?
The PIN is used on the CONNECT site to authenticate your identity. Since personal and benefit information is available on the site, security is important. Create a four-digit PIN that you’ll remember, but is not obvious to the public.
Why are you asking for more information after I filed my first claim?
After the first claim has been filed, officials may need more information to confirm that you qualify for the program. It is important to continue checking your CONNECT account for messages asking for further information or documents. You may also receive a phone call from the department if further information or explanation is required from your first claim.
Do I have to go to my appointment with CareerSource?
Yes. After receiving the first few weeks of benefits, you will see a notification that an appointment has been set with your local CareerSource Florida center. This meeting will help you learn more skills about job interviewing, searching, and contacting future employers. Attendance at this appointment is mandatory to continue receiving benefits from the program.
How do I know how much money I will receive?
After your first claim has been approved, you can check your CONNECT account to see what total monetary contribution you will receive every two weeks. This number can change dependent upon the income you receive or your compliance with the job search program. You can also use the Wage Transcript and Determination worksheet to figure out roughly how much in benefits you will receive.
Why do you need my checking account information?
If you asked for your benefits to be received through direct deposit to your checking account, the account and routing number will be needed to complete the transaction. You also have the choice of signing up for a Florida Visa Debit Card, where the balance can be transferred and available for use each benefits period.
How do I comply with the Workforce requirements?
You will need to register on the Employ Florida Marketplace through your CONNECT account. Click on ‘Workforce Registration’ and provide your valid email address, complete background history, and an updated resume to register.
Can I be exempt from registering for Workforce?
The only claimants exempt from the Workforce Registration are those who can prove they are: illiterate or have a language impediment, have a mental or physical obstacle that prohibits them, not current Florida residents, have job offers starting in the next eight weeks, union members who currently accept union work, or those not allowed to use computers by law.
What should I record as a job contact?
To accurately record the details of a job contact, you will need to provide: the method of contact, the date of the contact, the business name and contact information, including website, the type of work possibly available and the result of the contact. This information can be logged in your CONNECT account for review.
How many job contacts are required per benefits period?
For each week that you receive benefits, you will need to have five job contacts logged in the CONNECT system. If the county you live in has a population of 75,000 or less, however, three job contacts are required per benefits week. If unable to meet your job contact quota for the week, a meeting with your local CareerSource Florida office may suffice as a job contact.
If I receive earnings, do I need to report them?
Yes. Any earnings or income you are currently receiving will need to be reported using your CONNECT account. Your total gross earnings before tax deductions will need to be reported during the week you worked, whether payment has been received yet or not. Job training or single day work that pays will need to be reported.
Will I be taxed on these benefits?
Yes. Reemployment Assistance benefits are taxable income, and you will be charged taxes on the total amount of benefits you receive for the year. If you choose, 10 percent of your benefits can be held back for taxes so you do not have to pay at the end of the fiscal year. If you decide to receive your full benefit, remember that you will need to pay taxes on this income when filing.
How do I pay taxes on this income on my own?
If you choose to pay the taxes on your unemployment benefits on your own, be on the lookout for a 1099-G form in the mail. This form will display the amount of benefits you received and how much taxes are owed on these benefits. Be sure to keep an updated mailing address on file with your CONNECT account so you receive the 1099-G form in a timely manner to file.
How can I check my payment status?
If you would like to know when you can expect payment or how much your payment will be, it is best to log in to your CONNECT account. The date of payment, amount of payment, and status will be displayed in your account. If you would prefer, you can call the office to check on your benefits payment as well. Checking the balance of your Florida Visa Debit card will need to done through the credit card company. Be aware of how many free balance checks you have on the card before the company starts charging a fee for you to call and ask for balance and status.
Why was my benefits claim denied?
Most unemployment benefits claims are denied because the claimant does not meet the qualifications of the program. If this is your first claim, it may have been determined that your termination was due to an ineligible situation. If you are continuing benefits and have been denied, it may be due to not meeting the job contact requirements or receiving too much income. Your CONNECT account should have a detailed explanation for your denial of benefits.
How do I overturn the denial of benefits?
If you disagree with a denial of benefits, you can file an appeal to plead your case. This can be done through your CONNECT account or by writing a letter to the office. This must be done within 20 calendar days of your benefit denial. You will receive more information on the appeals process and a date for the appeal in question.
Do I have to complete an online application to file?
Every claimant is required to fill out an online application through the CONNECT portal to be considered for unemployment benefits. Those exempt from an online application include: claimants unable to read or write fluently in English, Spanish, or Creole, those physically or visually inhibited without ability to use a computer, or those legally prohibited from using a computer. If you fall into one of these categories, call the office to start the application process.
When do I report that I found a job?
If you obtained employment, report this immediately through your CONNECT portal. It is important to stop claiming benefits as soon as you accept a position that offers more than $275 per week as compensation. If you delay on reporting your new job, you can be convicted of making fraudulent claims for benefits. You would then possibly be ordered to repay the benefits provided or may undergo investigation by the government.
Why should I create a CONNECT account?
A CONNECT account is where you can fill out an online application, file a claim, change payment type, check claim status, and submit work contacts. This account is the way the department will communicate with you and keep you updated on payment information and your current status. It is important to create a CONNECT account, remember your log-in and PIN, and check the account regularly for communications and updates.
How do I continue receiving benefits?
After your initial claim, you will need to file a new claim for benefits every two weeks. This can be done on your CONNECT account. The claim should be made within seven days of the end of the benefits week. As long as the claimant still qualifies for the program and has turned in the needed job contacts, he or she should see the next benefits payment in the account on the date provided.
What Is Florida Unemployment Insurance?
In the state of Florida, unemployment insurance is a type of government compensation that can be obtained by newly unemployed workers who require financial assistance while they purse new work opportunities. These unemployment benefits are available to eligible individuals for a pre-determined period and help them cover rent, food and other necessary expenses. To find out more about unemployment insurance and how you can start receiving government compensation today, download our guide.
Can Everyone Get Unemployment Benefits in Florida?
Unemployment insurance is only available to qualified individuals in Florida. Applicants must have an acceptable reason for being out of work, they must meet past income thresholds and more. Find out if you qualify to receive unemployment compensation in Florida by downloading our comprehensive guide here.”