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Hurricane Matthew Disaster Unemployment Claims

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, assists individuals who become unemployed as a direct result of a federally declared disaster and who do not qualify for regular reemployment assistance benefits.  The program also covers self-employed individuals, owners of farms and ranches, farm and ranch workers, as well as fishers and others who are not normally covered by state reemployment assistance benefits.
Applicants must file a request for disaster benefits by November 18, 2016. Applicants must be legal U.S. residents and must have been working in or residing in Flagler, St. John, Volusia and Putnam counties.
The individual must: (1) have become unemployed as a direct result of the disaster or (2) be unable to reach the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster or (3) have been scheduled to begin work and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the disaster or (4) have become the major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of the disaster or (5) be unable to work because of an injury caused directly by the disaster.
To file a Disaster Unemployment claim, go to or call 1-800-681-8102. 


In 2012, Florida's Unemployment Compensation was renamed Re-Employment Assistance.

The CONNECT system launched ‚Äčin 2013. The automated system allows jobseekers to file, manage and check in on their Re-employment Assistance (unemployment) claims. The system ‚Äčis available 24 hours a day for claimants to:

  •  Access your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  •  View all of your claim information in one convenient place, including whether you have weeks to claim, issues to resolve, or any requests for additional information to process your claim.
  • Update information anytime – including change of address or phone number.
  • Choose the way you receive notifications from us – either electronically or by U.S. mail.

DEO offers assistance to people who do not speak English as their primary language and those who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. They also provide assistance to people who are unable to file a claim for various reasons.

To speak to a Creole or Spanish speaker or use translation services, call the Contact Center at 800-204-2418. People who need assistance filing a claim online because of legal reasons, computer illiteracy, language barriers, or disabilities may call 800-681-8102.

DEO’s Contact Center is open extended hours Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. EST and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST to help claimants with CONNECT. The Contact Center phone number is 800-204-2418.

You may experience extended customer service wait times and busier phone lines. To help assist as many people as possible, DEO has increased the number of customer service representatives as well as extended the customer service hours.

DEO has provided the following resources to help you with the new system:

·CONNECT Letter to Claimants

· CONNECT Claimant Quick Start Guide with instructions for filing before and after the launch 

· CONNECT video that shows you how to claim weeks

· CONNECT Claimant User Guide

· CONNECT Third Party Representative (TPR) User Guide

· CONNECT Awareness Poster

Contact DEO with questions and concerns  about CONNECT on Twitter at @FLCONNECTor @FLDEO on Facebook.



For more information on the CONNECT system,
call DEO customer service at
(800) 204-2418
Are you a business looking for information on the new CONNECT system?