Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida

Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida is a federally-funded compensation program available to unemployed residents following a disaster. Many of the Disaster Unemployment Assistance eligibility requirements are the same as the standard Unemployment Insurance (UI) also provided by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). The key difference between how to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance and regular UI benefits is when the program is available. Interested applicants can find out more about the eligibility requirements for collecting unemployment benefits by clicking here to download our free guide. To find out more about the Disaster Unemployment Assistance application, review the following sections:

  • When Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida is available
  • Florida Disaster Unemployment Assistance eligibility requirements
  • How to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida

When Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida is Available

Before applicants can submit their Disaster Unemployment Assistance application, they must find out if the program is active. Unlike regular UI benefits, Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida is not available at all times. When Florida experiences any sort of qualifying major disaster, such as a hurricane that causes extensive damage, the governor must make an official request for federal assistance. The President of the United States must officially approve the federal aid and then Florida DEO or a related state agency will officially announce that the program is active.

Once Disaster Unemployment Assistance eligibility is available in Florida, qualifying unemployment applicants have up to 30 days from the announcement to file. The DEO will automatically deny claims made after that time. The Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida provides benefits for 26 weeks directly following the date on which the disaster took place. DEO calculates disaster unemployment compensation amounts by the same method as standard benefits.

Florida Disaster Unemployment Assistance Eligibility Requirements

The first basic Disaster Unemployment Assistance eligibility requirement is that the unemployment claimant must have worked at a location that was inside the disaster area and have experienced unemployment as a direct result of the disaster. In some cases, applicants also meet Disaster Unemployment Assistance eligibility if they resided in the disaster area and cannot work because of the catastrophe. The Disaster Unemployment Assistance application requires applicants to furnish the name and address of their former employer as well as their home address to confirm if located in the disaster area.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance eligibility includes U.S. citizens and qualifying non-citizens. To find out whom Florida considers an eligible non-citizen for state assistance programs, download our comprehensive guide. Non-citizens must be able and available to work by the state's immigration laws.

Applicants applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida must have already used or been disqualified from receiving standard Reemployment Assistance (RA) benefits. Like regular unemployment benefits in Florida, claimants must request compensation for each week enrolled in the program. Participants of the program who fail to submit weekly request will not receive compensation.

How to Apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida

The process of how to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance requires claimants to apply online using Florida's CONNECT, which is the state's online unemployment application form. The Disaster Unemployment Assistance application will only be available online after the declaration of a disaster and activation of the program. The online application form will not be available for new applicants once the 30-day enrollment period ends. Therefore, any interested unemployment applicants should act quickly if they think they are eligible for disaster unemployment relief.

While filling out the Disaster Unemployment Assistance application each unemployment applicant will need to provide certain information to prove eligibility for unemployment benefits in Florida. That information includes name, Social Security Number and prior work experience. Aliens who are applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida will need to furnish their alien registration numbers. Additionally, self-employed applicants may need to provide bank statements and additional paperwork.

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance application itself consists of a series of questions that determine whether the unemployment applicant can receive disaster benefits and, if so, the amount of monetary compensation to which each applicant is entitled. Questions on the disaster unemployment application form will include information about the applicant's previous job, including the length of employment and wages. Each applicant should have that this mandatory information for unemployment applications handy prior to starting the online CONNECT process.

Applicants for Disaster Unemployment Assistance in Florida applicants can follow the online instructions to complete the application at their own pace. The online Disaster Unemployment Assistance application saves process, allowing applicants to pause when they need to gather more information or in the event of a loss of internet connection. Claimants can learn about the required data by downloading our guide here. Unemployment applicants can log back into Florida's CONNECT system to complete their Disaster Unemployment Assistance applications and submit them to the Florida DEO later. However, the 30-day registration deadline will still apply.

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What Assistance Benefits Does the Department of Children and Families Provide?

Various assistance benefits are available to residents of Florida through the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Families can receive benefits that allow them to buy nutritious groceries, save money on school lunch for their children and obtain temporary financial assistance. Additionally, petitioners who qualify for one assistance program are also typically eligible for other benefits in Florida. Find out how to qualify for benefits through Florida's DCF and how to apply for them by downloading our comprehensive guide.


Who Can Receive Assistance Benefits in Florida?

Each assistance program offered through Florida's Department of Children and Families has various eligibility qualifications that petitioners must meet in order to enroll. Household size and income are only a few factors that are typically taken into account. For more details on eligibility for Florida DCF assistance programs, download our guide.