TALAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida is going back to requiring its out-of-work residents to check back into the state's unemployment website to every two weeks in order to qualify for their checks.
Starting Sunday, May 10, all claimants must go back in the CONNECT system every two weeks to request their unemployment benefits. Gov. Ron DeSantis had previously waived this step last month in hopes of minimizing traffic on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's (DEO) website.
DEO said checking the site every two weeks will confirm that claimants will confirm they are still unemployed due to the pandemic and acknowledge that they are able and available to get back to work once they get the opportunity.
Below is DEO's guide for claiming reemployment assistance weeks:
On top of requiring people to go back into the CONNECT system every two weeks, DEO will once again go dark this weekend. State residents can file a new claim, but "DEO will be continuing to process claims and making payments over the weekend and will be unavailable to existing claimants," according to the state's website.
Those with existing claims can log back in on Monday, May 11 at 8 a.m.
ABC Action News reached out to DEO to clarify the new unemployment benefits rule and received the following email response:
"Pursuant to federal law, claimants will be required to return to the CONNECT system every two weeks to request their benefits or “claim their weeks.” In so doing, claimants will confirm that they are still unemployed due to COVID-19 and acknowledge that you are able and available for work should it be offered.
By completing this process, a claimant’s request for payment is submitted for their weeks of unemployment, even when the claim is pending for review. Beginning May 10, 2020, no payments can be made on a claim unless the claimant requests benefits. Claimants will be able to request a benefit payment for each week available.
This can all be found on our website here. Thank you."
DEO has also once again extended its waiver for online work registration and work search requirements.
According to DEO's announcement on Friday, the department will waive work search and work registration requirements for those filing for unemployment through Saturday, May 30.