The WINK News newsroom has been flooded with questions from concerned Southwest Floridians over unemployment issues. We set out with a goal to get all of your questions answered.
Below are the questions we have answered for you so far and we will continue to update this list as many questions remain.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity says individuals should visit FloridaJobs.org/COVID-19 for frequently asked questions and helpful information for individuals and businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Here’s some information WINK News was able to gather:
Are paper applications only for new applicants?
WHAT WE FOUND: Yes. According to CareerSource, the paper application is only for individuals who have never filed for unemployment before. Floridians who do not have a current open Reemployment Assistance claim can also use the new, mobile-friendly website: floridajobs.com/raapplication
CareerSource cannot answer any questions about filing or pending applications, but they do have staff available to help applicants reset their PINs. Assistance resetting your PIN is available by filling out this form or calling 1-800-557-3242. You can also call the CareerSource center closest to you.
How much longer will a paper application take to process versus applying online?
RESPONSE FROM DEO (4/10/2020):
“After an individual files a claim in our new online application or submits a paper application, DEO will process their claim for Reemployment Assistance. If further information is needed, the agency will contact the claimant.”
Click here to download a paper application. Certain FedEx locations are offering free printing and shipping for unemployment applications. Click here to find a location.
The DEO website says: “Please note that paper applications could potentially take longer to process than completing an online application.”
For people who cannot get through to confirm their identities over the phone, can people fax or email their SS card and driver’s license to the DEO?
WHAT WE FOUND: Yes. According to the DEO website, you can submit documents verifying your identity to the department by email or fax. Please provide a signed copy of your Social Security card and a copy of your valid driver’s license or state ID. Please allow three business days for the documents to be reviewed and then contact the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity toll-free at (800)297-0586 to verify your information.
Can you provide a timetable for implementing the federal pandemic unemployment assistance program, and when people will receive the extra $600?
RESPONSE FROM DEO (4/10/2020): “DEO will issue additional information about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Assistance as it becomes available. Benefits will be paid from the date they became eligible under the CARES Act. At this time, individuals who apply for Reemployment Assistance whose employment was negatively impacted as a result of COVID-19 will follow the same application, review and payment process as all applicants for Reemployment Assistance in Florida.
“The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, expands Reemployment Assistance benefits. The team at DEO is working diligently to get the resources provided through the CARES Act to Floridians as soon as possible and will be providing more information in the coming days.”