FAQs About Department of Economic Opportunity

  1. Is Reemployment Assistance the same program as Unemployment Insurance Benefits in Florida?

Yes. Reemployment Assistance is the new name for the same program. The mission of rebranding the program is to illustrate a focus on the worker returning to work, rather than simply receiving unemployment compensation.

  1. I keep hearing about the CONNECT portal, but what is it?

CONNECT is the DEO online platform where beneficiaries will submit applications and claims for unemployment.

  1. I've been trying to submit an application for Reemployment Assistance, but it keeps giving me an error message. What do I do?

The information furnished by the applicant must match the documents submitted by the employer exactly. That means full name, exact spelling, exact dates of employment and exact wage numbers.

  1. I'm interested in the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for my business and have submitted my paperwork, now what?

As long as businesses submit paperwork within the 28 day window prior to hiring, the WOTC office will respond with a verification and acknowledgement of acceptance.

  1. I'm trying to file for unemployment benefits but I'm missing one of the requested documents. Do I still file?

While it's better for applicants to have all of the requested documents when filing, they can go still file with partial information. Unemployment applications missing information may create delays with processing. Unemployment applicants can find out what information is mandatory for applying by downloading our free Florida guide.

  1. I wasn't able to file a claim on Sunday for my unemployment benefits, so what do I do?

Claimants can still request benefits for up to seven days from the schedule date without a problem. After that, however, they will just lose benefits for that week.

  1. How many job search contacts do I have to send it each week for FL unemployment compensation?

Applicants must list at least five work search places or employers met within the course of a week's time. However, in Florida there are certain low-density areas where this limit is only three.

  1. I have been temporarily laid off and anticipate going back to work soon. Do I need to submit the job search contacts still?

No. If applicants anticipate returning to employment within the next two months, then they do not have to enter in the job search contacts requirement.

  1. Do I have to participate in the job search requirement if I am currently going through a training program?

No. If claimants are taking classes with an approved training program, then they do not have to submit work search contacts.

  1. What are 'disqualified weeks'? I received this error when I went to claim benefits.

Disqualified weeks are those days for which DEO will not pay benefits. This can be due to several reasons and will be listed under the 'determination' section on the site. Enrollees can learn more about these reasons in our comprehensive guide, available here.

  1. I was fired but wasn't told why. Can I sue for wrongful termination?

The state of Florida is an 'at-will' state, which means that the employer is under no obligation to tell employees why he or she is firing the employee. Terminated workers who suspect and have proof that the dismissal of employment was the result of discrimination or retaliation can learn more about filing a claim with EEOC in our downloadable guide by clicking here.

  1. I turned down a date with my boss and then a few weeks later was fired. Can I sue?

Wrongful termination cases include those based on discrimination or harassment. Being fired for refusal to go on a date would qualify as sexual harassment.

  1. I have a contract with my employer and I was fired. Can I sue for breach of contract?

It depends on the wording in the contract. In most employment contracts, there is what is called an 'escape clause', which allows the employer to fire an employee 'at will'. For instance, poor job performance may be grounds for terminating an employment contract.

  1. I was fired a couple of months ago. Is it too late to file a wrongful termination case?

Wrongfully terminated employees may have 180 to 300 days to file a discrimination charge against a former employer in Florida depending on the violation. If Florida also prohibits the specific employment discrimination, the deadline extends to 300 days.  

  1. Marijuana was made legal in Florida (for medical use) and I use it to treat anxiety. Can I be fired for using Medical Marijuana?

Though it is legal, employers are still legally able to request tests at any time and can dismiss an employee if he or she test positive (even if the worker isn't under the influence at the time). In Florida, employers can fire as well as refuse to hire workers who smoke or drink.

  1. What is the EFC number that I see with my FAFSA papers?

EFC, or estimated family contribution, is the amount of money that the federal government expects a student's family to contribute toward the overall cost of the student's education. Click here to learn more about applying to FAFSA, student grants and loans by downloading our free Florida guide.

  1. I didn't file for Florida FAFSA when it opened in October. Is it too late, now?

FAFSA officials continue to process applications through the end of June each year. After that, the student will have to wait until the open enrollment period, which is typically October 1.  

  1. My parents don't have tax returns and it is asking for it on the FAFSA application. What do I do?

The best thing to do in this case is to work with the financial aid office at the school. These applicants will have to file as an independent student, rather than someone who is a dependent of their family.

  1. I didn't do very well my first year in college and have lost my FAFSA money. Is there a way to fix this?

The only way to have FAFSA reinstated is for students to fix their grade point average (GPA) and then reapply. Learn more about eligibility for student financial aid in our downloadable guide.

  1. Why do I have to create a FSA ID in order to apply for FAFSA?

The Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is an additional layer of protection since applicants must share extremely sensitive information electronically.