EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

DUA provides temporary payments to employers and workers who have lost their jobs or who have suffered a temporary work stoppage as a result of a natural disaster.

DUA is now available to individuals in the designated disaster areas who are unable to work during the period September 10, 2017, through March 17, 2018, as long as the individuals’ unemployment is a result of Hurricane Irma.

To file a claim, please go to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website at www.floridajobs.org or call them at 800-385-3920.  Applications must be filed by October 31, 2017.

Employ Florida

Employ Florida within the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has created a website to assist employers and job-seekers in finding Hurricane Irma related employees for employers looking for workers and employment information for individuals looking for Hurricane Irma related employment.

For more information, visit: https://irma.employflorida.com/vosnet/Default.aspx


TAXES

Extension for Filing Florida Sales Tax Returns

The Florida Department of Revenue has extended the filing dates for sales and use tax returns and payments due for the August reporting period to September 29, 2017.  This order applies to all 67 counties.  Sales and use taxes and returns are normally due on the 1st day of the month, and late after the 20th day of the month.  Electronically-filed submissions initiated by 5:00 p.m. on September 28, 2017 will be deemed timely filed.

Extension for Filing Corporate Income Tax

Corporate income tax filers whose original filing due dates or extended due dates fell between September 4, 2017 and January 31, 2018 will not have until February 15, 2018 to file their corporate income tax return and make the tax installment payments.  This extension applies to all 67 counties in Florida.

IRS Federal Tax Relief for Florida Victims of Hurricane Irma

The IRS is postponing some deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in Florida. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after September 4, 2017 and before January 31, 2018, extended through January 31, 2018. This includes taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2016 tax return that was due to run out on October 16, 2017. It also includes the quarterly estimated income tax payments originally due on September 15, 2017 and January 16, 2018, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on October 31, 2017.

For more information, visit:

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-for-victims-of-hurricane-irma-in-florida


CONTRACTORS

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Natural Disaster Guide

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation is responsible for regulating and licensing a number of professions in Florida including many construction contractors.  The link below contains information on how to prevent becoming a victim of unlicensed activity and also verifying the license of contractors before you hire them.

http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/os/communications_office/HurricaneGuide.html

Florida Disaster Contractors Network

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, many property owners in Florida will need to hire construction contractors to repair/rebuild their structures.  The Disaster Contractors Network is an online tool funded by revenue from local building permits that allows contractors and building materials suppliers in Florida to get their name out to property owners needing construction services in the aftermath of storms or other natural disasters.  By registering free of charge on the Disaster Contractors Network, contractors and suppliers can advertise to the general public what type of goods and services they offer and connect with property owners needing those services in rebuilding/repairing their property after the storm.

If the services that a contractor provides require a state license (such as roof repairs, plumbing repairs, or electrical repairs/rewiring), the system will not allow an unlicensed contractor to register.  However, the system will allow contractors performing work that does not require licensure (such as tree trimming, debris removal, drywall, and painting) to register for those services.

To register on the Network, contractors can go to www.dcnonline.org and enter their business name, contact information, and type of services they provide.  Property owners needing services can go to the same website, enter the county they are in and search for the specific construction services or supplies they need.  Both services are free of charge.

More Contractors Allowed to Perform Roofing Work after Irma

The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation has issued an Emergency Order in response to Hurricane Irma that allows state-licensed Division 1 contractors, including general contractors, building contractors, and residential contractors, to perform roof installation and repairs for wood shakes, asphalt & fiberglass shingles, tiles, metal, and flat roofs within their respective contracting scope.

The Order also allows building departments, if needed, to issue local specialty roofing licenses to roofers who are qualified in other localities within the State.  Applicants for a specialty roofing license must provide an affidavit of competency from their original jurisdiction and proof of required insurance, including workers’ compensation.  These specialty licenses would be subject to local disciplinary oversight like other local specialty licenses.  This Order only applies to the Florida counties in which a disaster has been declared.


LOANS

Florida Disaster Emergency Loan Program

The Florida Disaster Emergency Loan Program provides a source of cash to Florida small businesses that have been physically and/or economically impacted by a storm.  These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer-term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

Interest free loans of up to $25,000 are available and the application deadline is October 31, 2017.  For more information, visit: http://www.floridadisasterloan.org/

Federal Disaster Loan Program from the Small Business Administration

What Types of Disaster Loans are Available?

Certain counties in federally declared disaster areas are eligible for two business loans from the Small Business Administration.

  1. Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.  The deadline to apply for this loan is 11-9-17.
  2. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.   The deadline to apply for this loan is 6-11-18.

The maximum amount that can be borrowed under these loan programs is $2 million.

For more information on federal disaster loan programs for businesses and to apply online from the Small Business Administration, visit: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela


INSURANCE

Insurance Policies Protected from Cancellation

Due to Hurricane Irma, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has issued an Emergency Order that protects most types of insurance policies from being cancelled from September 4th to October 15th.

If your workers’ compensation insurance policy is issued through FUBA and your policy was scheduled to cancel during this time period, we have reinstated your policy and mailed you a Notice of Reinstatement.  Please note that premium will be collected on the new policy period.  If you have any questions, please call our Policy Services department at 800-262-4483.

Continuing Education Deadline for Insurance Agents Extended

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has extended the continuing education deadlines for licensed insurance professionals in Florida.

Continuing education deadlines are set by the licensee’s birthday month, and any licensee with a deadline in September, October or November will now have an extended deadline of December 31, 2017, to complete their continuing education requirements.

The extension applies to all insurance professional licensees that require continuing education, including insurance adjusters, agents and customer representatives. No form or application process is required to be approved for this extension. The Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Agent & Agency Services is updating its online database to automatically reflect the updated deadline.

To learn more, visit www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Agents.


MISCELLANEOUS

Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center and Florida Business Damage Assessment Survey

For information on storm preparation before, during and after a storm, as well as business damage assistance and other business related emergency operations assistance, visit: http://www.flvbeoc.org

Operation Blue Roof

Operation Blue Roof is a Federal Emergency Management Agency program that provides a temporary covering of blue plastic sheeting to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made.  This program is only available in certain Florida counties.

For more information, visit:

https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/09/17/4337/operation-blue-roof-program-available-some-florida-counties

National Center for Disaster Fraud

The National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) is the result of a partnership between the U.S. Department of Justice and various law enforcement and regulatory agencies to form a national coordinating agency within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice to improve and further the detection, prevention, investigation, and prosecution of fraud related to natural and man-made disasters, and to advocate for the victims of such fraud.

For information visit:  https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud

Florida Division of Emergency Management

For information on Florida specific disasters and impending disasters, visit:

www.floridadisaster.org

Florida Traffic Information

For information on up-to-the-minute traffic and transit information for Florida, visit:

www.FL511.com

Office of the Florida Governor

For Irma specific Florida governmental news releases and announcements please visit:  www.flgov.com

Office of Florida Chief Financial Officer Consumer Help Line

Insurance experts are available to assist home and business owners with all insurance-related questions and concerns from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Suspected fraud can be reported via the Helpline.

For more information about the insurance help line and other insurance related Hurricane Irma resources visit:

http://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/Consumers/HurricaneIrma.htm