Yesterday I was shocked to hear that 10 million people have filed for unemployment in the last 2 weeks. I have spoken to many clients over the last few weeks who have lost their jobs so today I would like to address unemployment benefits and the CARES Act. However, just like the stimulus payments, information regarding unemployment benefits changes regularly.
States administer unemployment benefits and the rules regarding who is eligible and the amount they will receive is determined state by state. In Florida, normal unemployment benefits are $275.00 per week for up to 12 weeks. Under the CARES Act, states are allowed to pay an additional $600.00 per week on top of the normal benefit, up until July 31, 2020.
Another major part of the CARES Act is that it makes self-employed and independent contractors eligible for some portion of unemployment benefits.
However, here’s the problem, most States are struggling to catch up with the provisions of the CARES Act. I checked the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website this morning and the most recent COVID-19 update was on March 17, 2020. That is more than 2 weeks old and it predates the CARES Act. Here is the link: http://www.floridajobs.org/docs/default-source/reemployment-assistance-center/ra-covid-19-faqs-eng.pdf?sfvrsn=805543b0_14
To receive unemployment benefits, you have to file an application online. Here is a link that you can use to apply. https://connect.myflorida.com/Claimant/Core/Login.ASPX I have heard from many clients that they have been unable to apply because the site keeps crashing. With so many people becoming unemployed at the same time, I’m not surprised to hear that. But my recommendation is to just keep trying.
I really wish I could provide better information regarding this important topic to you immediately. I will continue to monitor the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website and wil continue to update you.
Together, we will get through this.
The Golen Law Group