AWI Issues Guidelines for Customers Receiving Unemployment Compensation Extensions Benefits being paid as scheduled; many customers can begin claiming weeks Monday
TALLAHASSEE – The Agency for Workforce Innovation began paying benefits this week to many Unemployment Compensation customers who were affected by recent federal legislation. For details about the legislation, follow this link.
Payments for customers with continuing claims who are currently enrolled in the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program began on Monday, August 2. Customers whose benefits had lapsed but may be eligible for EUC under the new law may begin claiming retroactive weeks beginning Monday, August 9. Customers who may be entitled to payments under the Extended Benefits (EB) program can apply online or begin certification for retroactive EB weeks as necessary, beginning Monday, August 9, as well.
In order to ensure benefits are paid as quickly and accurately as possible, and to avoid delays or overwhelming the state’s 1970s-era Unemployment Compensation processing systems, claims for customers whose benefits had lapsed will be processed and entered into the system incrementally.
“The agency has been working diligently to ensure eligible beneficiaries are able to receive their payments as expeditiously as possible,” said AWI Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo. “Due to the large numbers of claims and the length of time since the programs expired, we must proceed with caution to ensure our computer systems are functioning properly. A system overload would cause undue delay for all Unemployment Compensation beneficiaries, which would be unacceptable.”
HOW CAN CUSTOMERS CLAIM BENEFITS?
Unemployment Compensation customers are required to certify their continued eligibility for each week of potential payment. As soon as a customer’s account indicates there are weeks to certify, the agency suggests they do immediately. All customers, except some who are required to file a new EB claim, should be able to certify for weeks of entitlement by Friday, August 13.
Since claims for customers whose benefits had lapsed will be entered into the system incrementally and processed each day, the agency suggests customers who believe they might be eligible for these benefits should:
*There is no need to check more than once per day since each day’s claims are updated overnight.
- Check the status of their claim once per day starting Monday, August 9*
- Use the internet: http://www.floridajobs.org (recommended) , or
- Use the interactive voice response system (IVR) at 800-204-2418 (EUC customers only)
- Claim weeks as soon as they become available
SOME CLAIMS REQUIRE ACTION
While many customers will not need to take any action in order to receive benefits under this law, some customers will be required to do so, as outlined below:
NO ACTION REQUIRED:
- Continuing claims for EUC Tiers I-III - Customers who will transition out of regular state benefits into EUC Tier I, or who have a continuing EUC claim in Tiers I-III, will automatically roll into the next Tier as appropriate, and no action is necessary to maintain their claims. All customers must continue to certify weeks as scheduled.
- Established EB claim with remaining credits – Customers who have already completed an EB application, established an EB claim and have remaining EB credits will be automatically re-enrolled into the EB program and can begin claiming the remainder of their available weeks. No action is necessary for these customers to re-enroll in the EB program. All customers must continue to certify weeks and complete job search criteria as scheduled.
- Continuing claims for EUC Tier IV and new EB claims – Customers who are transitioning out of EUC Tier IV and into EB, or who have exhausted all Tier IV benefits, and who have not yet completed an EB application and established an EB claim, will be required to complete an EB application. The agency will begin mailing these customers an EB application on Monday, August 9. Customers may also file for EB online at http://www.floridajobs.org beginning Monday, August 9.
The agency will continue to notify all customers affected by this legislation.
- On Monday, August 2, the agency began sending benefits payments and benefits determination letters to EUC customers affected by the new legislation and who remained in continuing claims status. Benefits determination letters include a status of that customer’s claim, available benefits and instructions on what actions, if any, to take in order to receive benefits.
- Today, the agency will begin sending benefits determination letters to EUC customers affected by the new legislation and whose benefits had lapsed.
- On Monday, August 9, the agency will begin sending notifications and EB applications to all affected EB customers.
- Customers with an established EB claim and who have remaining EB credit will receive a notice instructing them to begin claiming weeks and will not be required to complete an application.
- Customers who have not established an EB claim will be mailed an application, which can be returned by mail or filed online at http://www.floridajobs.org beginning Monday, August 9.
The Agency for Workforce Innovation estimates:
- More than $29 million in EUC benefits has been paid to nearly 51,000 people under the new law since Monday, August 2.
- More than 34,000 Floridians each week may now be eligible to advance to the next tier of EUC benefits and more than 861,000 EUC claims may be filed by the November deadline.
- Approximately $3.6 billion in EUC benefits will be paid to approximately 527,677 Floridians who have or will exhaust their regular state unemployment benefits, or the first three Tiers of EUC benefits, of which approximately $448 million will be paid retroactively to June 2, 2010.