Help is On the Way

Apr 6, 2020 - News by

Let’s face it Floridians, these are difficult and anxious time for most people as we try and navigate our personal and professional lives through this pandemic.  For most people, the directive to stay at home can have devastating impacts on their employment and that is what has so many wondering and worried.  Just last week, the Department of Labor reported that 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits. That is the largest filing ever in the history of the United States. 

Whether you’ve recently lost your job, had your hours significantly reduced, or are still employed but worrying about the future of your employment, it’s really important to know that there are financial resources available from the state and federal government to help you and your family weather this storm.  

If you’ve lost your job through no fault of your own (i.e. you must not have quit for personal reasons or been terminated for malicious misconduct) you should immediately file for reemployment assistance benefits (formerly known as “unemployment compensation”) online at Connect.  The state of Florida has simplified and streamlined the process to help all those who are eligible to easily apply and receive the benefits as soon as possible.  Make sure to have all your information ready BEFORE you apply.  Some of the information you will be required to provide during the application includes:  

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license or State ID number
  • Your employment for the last 18 months including for each employer:
    • Name, address, and phone number
    • First and last day of work
    • Gross earnings (before taxes are taken out) during the listed dates
    • The reason for separation.

Also, due to the high volume of filings, be prepared to be patient and persistent with this online process.  Don’t give up!

Depending upon your prior earnings, Florida reemployment assistant benefits offer a maximum of $275 a week for up to 12 weeks.  Fortunately, the recently enacted federal stimulus package (CARES) provides an additional $600 per week for qualified applicants through July 31st. This can also be applied for online at Connect.

Under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, independent contractors and self-employed workers are also eligible for reemployment assistance benefits.  In fact, if you’re still employed but have recently had your hours cut by your employer or you were terminated but received a severance check, you could also be eligible for reemployment assistance benefits. All of these questions can be answered when filing for reemployment assistance benefits at Connect.

Lastly, just last week Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order that suspends and tolls any foreclosure actions for 45 days.  This should provide some relief to those who are struggling to make mortgage payments in light of changes in employment due to this virus. 

It is important that Floridians do not hesitate to take full advantage of the financial resources being made available to you by our state and federal governments.  Remember, these are difficult and unique times that call for us to pull together and work together to ensure that we make it to the other side stronger, better and together. 

Boz Tchividjian is a former law professor who is Of Counsel with Landis Graham French and specializes in employment law.  He can be reached at boz@landispa.com

How Landis Graham French Can Help You

Our attorneys specialize in providing expert legal services to individuals and business owners in Volusia County for Corporate and Business Entities, Employment Law, Landlord/Tenant Law, and more. If you would like to know more about how the attorneys at Landis, Graham, French can help and advise you through legal matters associated with loss of work/wages due to the coronavirus, please contact us today at 386-734-3451.

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