"Search for Work" Requirement is Back in Florida for Unemployment Benefits
It is a new month and there is a big change for anyone collecting unemployment, in the State of Florida.
You are now required to search for work, to keep your benefits. In a normal year, If you are collecting unemployment benefits, you have to fill out job searches on the State’s “CONNECT website”, in order to collect benefits. As it required by Florida law, however, Governor Ron Desantis temporarily waived that rule last year, when the pandemic began. That rule, is now back in effect.
Many businesses throughout Florida are struggling to hire.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity says there are currently, at least… 450,000 job listings in the State, online, right now.
Florida’s Work Search Waiver expired May 29, 2021, meaning after that point, Floridians will be required to prove they’re searching and applying for jobs in order to continue to remain eligible to receive benefits.
Later this summer, the state will also move to cut off extended unemployment benefits provided by Congress.
Unemployment key dates
- May 29, 2021: Work Search Waiver expires
- June 26, 2021: Waiting Week Waiver expires
- June 26, 2021: FPUC $300 weekly benefits end
- Sept. 4, 2021: Federal Unemployment Insurance Programs expire
The number of searches required is based on where a person lives. Those who live in counties with a population greater than 75,000 will have to complete a minimum of five work searches per week. Those who live in counties with a population of less than 75,000 will have to complete a minimum of three work searches per week.
In lieu of the work searches, claimants may also complete a CareerSource service appointment to satisfy that week’s requirement.
Claimants request benefits biweekly, but are required to conduct work searches weekly.
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, a claimant has to be “able” to work, carving out disqualifiers for certain situations including those who may be pregnant, ill, or unable to find child care.
There are only a few exceptions to the work search requirements, but those exceptions include:
- Union members who are in good standing and in regular contact with your union.
- Individuals who are furloughed or temporarily laid off, but will return to the same employer within 8 weeks of your last day of work.
- Individuals participating in approved job training programs through local CareerSource Florida center.
- Individuals serving jury duty.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is making it easier for employers to report to the state people who have turned down job offers.
The State of Florida posted FAQs, outlining answers to a series of questions including:
- What is considered a valid Work Search?
- When is a job refusal acceptable?
- Who needs to register with Employ Florida?
Get all the details on these changes, from the State of Florida here: http://www.floridajobs.org/docs/default-source/reemployment-assistance-center/work-search/work-search-and-registration-faqs.pdf