Florida Unemployment Information – Benefits, Eligibility etc.

Florida’s economy and job market is steadily improving. In 2013, the state finished paying off a $3.5 billion loan it took to pay unemployment benefits when the state was on an economic downturn. While the state as a whole is on an upswing, 7.1% (as of May 2013) are still unemployed. This page contains all of the Seal of Floridanecessary information for collecting unemployment benefits in Florida which is also known as the Reemployment Assistance Program.

Eligibility

If you wish to file for unemployment in Florida, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Reason for unemployment: You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. For example, if you were laid off due to downsizing, your employer going out of business, company restructuring, or other circumstances beyond your control. However, if you are unemployed due to breaking company policy, quitting, or other circumstances within your control, you may be ineligible for the Florida Reemployment Assistance Program.
  • Earnings: You must have worked and earned wages in at least two quarters of your base period (the last 4 quarters before applying for Florida unemployment). The amount of earnings during your base period must be a minimum of 1.5 times the wages of your highest earning quarter in your base period. So if your highest earning quarter was $3,000, your total earnings for the base period must be at least $4,500. Florida’s minimum income for an entire base period is $3,400.
  • Ability to work: In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must be able to work and actively seek employment. If you are offered a position deemed suitable, you must accept it. You may be asked to provide proof that you have been searching and applying for work at any time.

What you need to apply

Before you apply for benefits, you will want to make sure you have all of the necessary information to complete the application. You will need the following pieces of information:

  • State issued identification
  • You social security number
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers for all of your employers in the past 18 months
  • What dates you worked and total wages for every employer in the past 18 months
  • Gross income (pre-tax income) for the first week you are claiming unemployment
  • Alien registration number and the expiration date of your work permit (for non-U.S citizens)
  • A DD-214 form if you were in the military within the last two years
  • For federal employees, your SF-50 or SF9 form
  • Checking account number and routing number to have direct deposit.

How to Apply

You can file for benefits through Florida’s online system Florida Unemployment Internet Direct Claims (FLUID). You cannot file for unemployment benefits in Florida at an office or over the phone.  As of August 2011, the only way to file for unemployment in Florida is online. You should file your claim within one week of becoming unemployed. You can file your claims online:

  • Monday-Saturday: 6:30AM-8:00PM
  • Sunday: 6:30AM-6:00PM

The application process takes approximately 30-60 minutes to finish. Once you begin, you will have to complete the application within 72 hours or you will have to restart the entire process from the beginning. You will be given a PIN number when you begin so that you can return within the 72 hour window.

After you complete the application, a notification will be sent to you confirming that your claim has been submitted successfully. In addition to your confirmation, you will also be instructed to take the Initial Skills Review. The test is mandatory but has no effect on whether your claim is granted or denied. The Skills Review test is used to help match you to job openings from the One-Stop Career Center.

Once your claim has been accepted, you will receive your first payment in 3-4 weeks. No benefits are paid the first week you file you claim because it is a “waiting week”.

In the event that you don’t receive your confirmation notice after submitting the application, you can call the Claims Assistance Center at 1-800-204-2418.

Payment

The maximum amount you can receive in unemployment benefits is $275 a week and the minimum is $32 per week. The amount that you receive will vary depending on your Base period. Benefits are calculated by dividing your earnings from your highest grossing quarter in the base period by 26.

As of January 2012, the duration of your benefits is dependent upon Florida’s unemployment rate in the 3rd quarter of the previous year. The maximum length of time you can claim unemployment benefits is 26 weeks.

If the unemployment rate is 5% or lower, you can claim benefits for up to 12 weeks. For every .5% increase in the unemployment rate above 5%, a week is added to the duration of benefits. Florida calculates the unemployment rate once a year on the third Friday of November.

Payments can either be deposited directly into your checking account or into a state issued Debit card.

Continuing benefits

Unlike many other states, you only have to reapply for benefits every 2 weeks as opposed to once a week. You can certify through FLUID.

In order to keep receiving benefits, you have to actively be seeking employment.

Appealing a denied claim

If your claim has been denied, you have the opportunity to appeal within 20 days of receiving your determination letter. You can file your appeal online here. The appeals website is available:

  • Monday-Saturday: 7:00AM-8:00PM
  • Sunday: 9:00AM-5:00PM

Once you have filed the appeal, you will receive a confirmation number. If you did not get a confirmation number then your appeal did not go through and you will have to re-do it. You should print out a copy of the confirmation page for your records.

Resources and Contact Information

For questions regarding the application process or information about your claim, you can call Reemployment Assistance Hotline at 800-204-2418 Monday-Friday 8:00AM to 5:00PM.

Email Reemployment Assistance department: http://www.floridajobs.org/applications/uccontactus/

Appeals (clerk’s office):  (850) 921-3511

Appeals Commission: (850) 487-2685

If you need to send any correspondences in the mail, you can send it to:

Department of Economic Opportunity

107 East Madison Street,

 Caldwell Building

 Tallahassee Florida 32399

If you do not have access to a computer to file your claim or need help with your application, you can contact your nearest One Stop Career Center. The directory is located here.

57 Comments to “Florida Unemployment Information – Benefits, Eligibility etc.”

  1. I’m leaving this comment to ask for some assistance with my unemployment claim. I’ve been waiting over 6wks. now an no payment has been issued at all , and no one has contacted me at all. I’m needing some one to please contact me an explane to me about my problem with my claim. Contact no:813-263-3709. Thank You .

  2. I William Cokotis was forced to put info beginning date of 12/1/2013- 12/7/2013 as the system had these dates as for week to claim should have been 12/8/2013 thru 12/14/2013

  3. will I got fired because I was be accused of pepped spraying a residence, I talked to the police, I done talked to the Human Resource, plus I done talked to oasis about was going on and all they talking me is to talk to my boss and he said to me to look for a different job so I am looking for same help now with everything. It just crazy now my boss being up a taser but I use that for a flash light, plus for safety at night, because I have hurt me back and need that around for safety. So the only people I having talk to is DCF and they want talk to me about what going on . I work for 9 mouths and this the first time I every in life want thought this. My number is 386-307-7995 call anytime.

  4. hello i am trying to make my claim but cant make because i keep getting a message to contact you at the 800 number i tryed but cant get thru to you please call me asap when you get this 9043869474

  5. I was wondering if you are employed and get paid commission do you qualify for unemployment?

    • Kamera says:

      UNEMPLOYMENT…. You are employed so you won’t qualify.

      • Mike says:

        You can collect unemployment if you are unemployed OR underemployed. If you’re eligible for $275/week and only earn $100/week you can still get the difference ($175). You shouldn’t answer questions unless you know what you’re talking about……its all there in writing. Usually when someone wants to appear funny or intelligent, they wind up making a fool of themselves, its hilarious how many people will answer people ignorantly…..LOL.

    • If you are paid on W-2, it may be possible. If you are paid on 1099 not. FL is a difficult state. Commissions may not be recognized.

  6. If you have not worked Florida since jan 12 2015. Your wages are in other states and you live in Florida can you file your claim in florida

    • yasser rabello says:

      You are gonna apply for unemployment on the state you worked for, it doesn’t matter where you live as long as you are claiming the benefits every week inside USA and if you are not current employed.

    • @dawn – depends in which state you last worked – and which state has a record of your wages. FL pays a very low benefit for a very short period of time. If you have a chance of benefits in a higher-paying state, apply there, first.

  7. I need to refrained my last question I meant to say if I have not worked in Florida since jan 12 2014 n my wages are in other states can I file in Florida

    • Where you live does not determine where you file. Further, you don’t want to file in FL. FL pays a very low benefit for a very short period of time, vying with AL, AZ and MS for low, low benefits. If you have a chance of benefits in a higher-paying state, apply there, first. If you file in May 2015, your claim will be based on wages earned Jan-Dec. 2014. Therefore, you file in the state where you last worked or the state to which your employer reported those wages.

  8. Donna Alimonda says:

    I spoke to someone lst week and she said the only thing missing was I had to upload a resume,which I did. Now I get a letter from you denying my benefits because of an incomplete work history. I have been calling the 800 number to no avail. Seriously, this is why our State is rated the worse in the nation. I’m leaving this comment in hope that someone can contact me so I can get this resolved and begin collecting m y benefits.

  9. Rosie says:

    Why are my weeks on hold. I have filled out all the information required. I took the ISR. I registered for Workforce. I received a letter advising that I’m eligible for the max for 14 weeks. I’ve claimed 4 weeks thus far and every time I check online each one of these weeks are on hold. Why? Isn’t there a time limit to when you must pay. If there’s a time limit to appeal, there should be one for receiving payment. I’ve applied to about 30 different jobs both on line and in person and have reported these. Why the delay? When can I expect payment? What should I tell the electric company when they shut off my power or my landlord when they try to evict me for nonpayment of rent? I need answers. Calling the 800 number is useless. Twice I waited on hold for 2 hrs just to be able to speak to someone. They didn’t have any info for me. What’s going on?

    • Bri says:

      Hi Rosie – We are sorry to hear you’re experiencing difficulties with Florida’s Unemployment Insurance program and are frustrated with not having received any weekly benefit payments. Unfortunately, most claimants have to wait weeks to hear back on their application status, weekly benefit amounts, and receiving payments. The first week in which you apply for Florida’s Unemployment Insurance program is called your “waiting week” which means you will not receive any benefits for that week. Because Florida requires you to file biweekly benefit claims, that means you must wait an additional two weeks after the initial week before filing your biweekly claim. After you file that first biweekly claim, you should expect to receive a benefits payment within a week or two.

      36.7% of first-time unemployment payments are made within 7 days of the waiting week period
      62.2% are made within 14 days
      76.1% are made within 21 days
      81.8% are made within 28 days
      85.3% are made within 35 days
      88.3% are made within 42 days
      91.5% are made within 49 days
      100% are made within 70 days – which means that the maximum time period Florida’s Unemployment Insurance program may take to make the first-time weekly benefits payment is 70 days.
      Source: http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/btq/btqrpt.asp

    • good morning rosie, “I understand how you are feeling. I am going through the same thing right now, as of today. I file for my benefits, and I keep getting denial letters. I am currently under my doctor’s care. I resign from my previous employer to medical reason. I file recently for my benefits, now, I have a ” WAITING WEEK “….then a week is on hold. my landlord, Is tripping, I may Have To Move ….I know GOD Is In Control Of It all. I pray Rosie, that things work out for you as well. ” KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, GOD HASN’T FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU MA’AM “…..BLESSINGS TO YOU

    • rick says:

      Hi Rosie, hope you finally received your money.
      If its any consolation I’m in same predicament..including first waiting week, I have 8 weeks showing hold.
      Inept aren’t they…please let me know your outcome.
      R

  10. Sbeth says:

    I just filed on 11-14-15. I qualify and followed all directions. Test, employment, applications, etc. I see Iam showing the tow weeks, yet they are on hold!
    Please tell my mortgage company my payment is on hold, let’s see what happens. Worst of all, DUKE Energy is charging me a 700.00 deposit fee on top of my electric bill and said,in no uncertain terms, they WILL shut off our electric if I did not pay 1044.00 by the due date.
    Are you fuxxxxg kidding me?? Florida is also at the bottom of the max amt payable. $275/week.
    Merry Christmas to us! Thanks Florida for all you do, I have worked my ass off in FL, non stop since 1985, I ask once for a little help and that is exactly what we are getting,very little help.
    At least take some action and stop DUKE Energy from strong arming us when we are down!

    • Jorge Fernandez says:

      AMEN.
      It’s a real SHAME the way you are treated when have to appeal to a HELP when in need.
      When you have to pay to the administration, it is MANDATORY, IT IS IMMEDIATE; day by day you are deducted FROM WHAT YOU HAVE TO WORK VERY HARD, to pay for having some stability in your life.
      When you are in need, you are treated as a BEGGAR … the way bad people treat beggars, not the godly way …. you end feeling yourself as being MISERABLE.
      See how easy you are told it is “normal” for you to have to wait… EVEN FOR 2 MONTHS! for the help you need to come…
      Yes, people … HUMANITY NEEDS TO CHANGE!

    • Contact your state legislator on your inability to get through or get a response.

      http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx

  11. Kim Welch says:

    I filed for benefits and was denied due to a few dollars short of the “base period requirement”. I appealed to use an alternate base period since it was so close, however was denied again and told to refile. I have refiled, received a denial and appealed again. My appeal has been totally ignored. No communication, no help. It’s like I do not exist. This is unjust. I worked hard all my life and was fired because I called 9-1-1 to help a contractor struck with heatstroke. He was taken to the hospital and I got fired for it since my employer said I should have put him in a car and driven him there. They yelled at me for several days, then denied me access to a working computer program and fired me for “unable to do the job”. I guess I just need to keep praying and trust God Almighty for Justice and financial help. P.S. The contractor was treated at the hospital and he is alive.

  12. sylvia puddie says:

    I work for a company that will close for the holiday for a week and I am a contractor which I do not get paid. could I claim unemployment for that week?

  13. Janet Beeler says:

    What are the base periods used when applying?
    I know they are different from filing in December or filing in January?

  14. Katie Port says:

    My friend was discharged from the military with a general discharge. The reason for the general discharge was minor misconduct. About one month after their discharge they applied for unemployment. Their application was approved and they received correspondence stating the first two sets of jobs were accepted but they had to send in their DD FM 214. After they submitted the form they received more mail but they still haven’t been paid. Have they not gotten paid due to the general discharge from the military because of their minor misconduct ?

    • You don’t indicate how long he’s been waiting. Claims processing can take a month at least. With a military discharge possibly longer b/c FL needs to contact the military. If there is too much of a delay, have your friend contact his FL state legislator. He can find his legislator, here:

      http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx

      Frankly, military people have the option of filing either in the state in which they were discharged or the state in which they live or the state to which they will be moving. FL’s benefit is so low and for such a short period, if your friend was based in another state with a better UI program, that’s where he should be applying.

  15. Tom Holliday says:

    I was fired in Alabama, and am filing for unemployment there, but was told I had to register in Florida because I am currently living here with my son. I cannot seem to understand how to register rather than actually filing for unemployment here?

  16. Allison says:

    Hi I was wondering if I apply for unemployment can i apply for cash assistance as well through the government? TIA

  17. Shae says:

    I started my claim on the 1st of May, got my first payment last week after giving all the info about places I have applied at for the last two weeks. I do not have the option to do that this week so how will I get paid for this week? It tells me to log back in on June 1 to claim my benefits. So does this mean I only getting benefits every other week? My apologies but I have never had any experience with unemployment before. TIA

  18. Stephanie Rosa says:

    Ok… well my story is a long story. I was working for a company that is all about who you know, who you are in good and rubbing elbows with, sometimes even who you are sleeping with. I was put on corrective action for my attendance bc I started dealing with back pain, anxiety and depression again. My paperwork advised them to keep in mind that My medications make me very drowsy. I was at a point with my medications that I would sleep almost all day after work and then I would be up all night. My shift started at 550AM and I would sometimes even fall asleep driving to work. I submitted my original paperwork to the HR office by the due date and it was denied bc they did not submit it to the case worker on time. I was put on corrective action for attendance but told that as long as I maintained my metrics month over month, as well as not go over my approved time off for my Leave of Absence for 3 months I would not have an issue. I made sure not to miss more than my approved time off, I met my numbers, I did all I needed to do. I was having trouble focusing and I explained this to them due to medications. They sent me home one day bc I wasn’t focusing at all. They acted as if everything was fine told me to come in rested the next working day. I was going to take short term disability but decided against it to make sure my numbers didn’t slip. I was told the next day I came to work that I was being separated from the company due to “customer mistreat” bc I supposedly set up a payment arrangement without customer’s authorization with her account information for a future date. I was also told I cursed on the call but not at the customer, more like towards the system for not responding. I was told when I was put on the corrective action that they could have let me go but that I was a good employee and they knew that I was one of the higher producers for my team and decided to go ahead with the corrective action instead. When I was terminated they did not provide me with proof as to what was done wrong. the call they stated I set up without permission the customer had asked for my name bc she was impressed with how simple I had made the transaction for her and customer’s get text messages before they even hang up with details of what happened on the call. She would not have been so happy had I actually done anything she was not OK with. Anyway, they did not provide me any paperwork to sign for the termination. I was not provided the call to listen to, as well as a few days later after the termination I was called by my family telling me they were worried for me bc my supervisor told them that she felt I was going to work under the influence of something and that she wished she could have done more for me. This is confidential information not to be shared outside of management within the company and she told my sister in law, who told my brother in law, who told my mother in law, and well it ended up making it’s way around my whole family and I now have weekly interventions with my family to make sure I am only taking my prescription medications and I have to talk to my aunt every other day who is the unofficial family therapist. I applied for unemployment and based it on job performance on the application. I explained that other reps that have made similar mistakes are simply reprimanded and told not to do it again a proverbial “slap on the wrist” so to speak and other reps that actually use narcotics in the parking lot and talk about it in front of management, they have much worse conversations with customers are simply coached as to what to do from then on, I also included the details about the supervisor spreading confidential information. I am really needing this to get approved as unemployment made me jump thru hoops to get my pin reset. They made me provide ID, SSN card, and marriage certificate to show why my last name was different, I explained to them that I had provided my information to the dept of motor vehicles and I had also provided to the SSA as well as my employer and not sure why they needed it as well. Anyway a month later I am finally provided access to do my initial application for benefits. What do I need to do to make sure I am approved? What possibility do I have to be approved? What can be done?? Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated. srosa0327 at gmail dot com…. or text at 813 527 7331.

    Thank you for reading my life story,

    • What you need to do is apply for benefits, indicate you were discharged. When asked why, state you do not know. Any effort to explain to an interviewer the issues will fall on deaf ears. If you’re lucky, your employer won’t accuse you of misconduct and FL will approve benefits. More likely, employer will accuse you of misconduct, you will be denied, and need to appeal. NOTHING you say to the interviewer will help you. At appeal, you will have the opportunity to present the facts for analysis. No interviewer will do that. So, say as little as possible – or don’t take the call at all. It won’t help you – and you are very likely apt to say something immediately disqualifying which will only make the appeal more difficult.

  19. West says:

    Hi, Last week my manager came and told me the position I held was being did away with . However they will be reducing my pay rate per hour and expecting me to do the same amount of work. This job is a on call position and when I was hired I was told I would be a full time employee. Last month I worked a total of 40 hours. Does anyone have any advice on my best options?

    • Elgatha Ethel Lee says:

      No matter if they reduce your hours, if you work 40 hours a week, then you are fulltime… Unfortunately because you worked 40 hours in a month you are under the fulltime level and would be considered parttime. It is my understanding that an employer can not reduce your pay rate, because that is what you agreed to (it is illegal everywhere else, but this is Florida) keep track of your hours, write everything down (document, document, document) it is very important, if you punch a card at the end of the week take a pic of it with your phone and email it to yourself. If I were you, I would contact an employment lawyer and ask a few questions over the phone, just to make sure.

    • Hi, Last week my manager came and told me the position I held was being did away with . However they will be reducing my pay rate per hour and expecting me to do the same amount of work. This job is a on call position and when I was hired I was told I would be a full time employee. Last month I worked a total of 40 hours. Does anyone have any advice on my best options?

      If you can afford to quit, you have grounds to do so and receive benefits – provided you have a work history that can support a claim. You were hired as a full-time worker. The employer has materially changed the conditions of your employment. USDOL considers this a termination of the existing contract and an offer of new work – which since it is part-time is UNSUITABLE.

  20. Mary Watson says:

    I filed for unemployment the day after I was fired and have been waiting for a response for 1 week. When I log-in to UI Connect Online it says in Messages, “Your application for unemployment benefits has been received and is being processed.” I cannot find anywhere where it says approximately how long it will take for a determination to be made – does anyone know? Do I need to wait until it is finished being processed to start claiming or should I be claiming for missed pay now? Thank you in advance.

    • You should claim as soon as the system allows. Depending on the circumstances of your separation, it could be three or four weeks, earliest, before FL can pay benefits. If FL needs to do a in-depth investigation, it may be longer. A Notice of UI Award is not an approval – unless you see money in your account.

  21. Michael says:

    I have been unemployed for 3 months, I was finishing up school and thought I had a job lined up but things fell through. Is it too late to file for unemployment? Is there a time limit in which you must apply for it?

    • You can apply as long as there are wages in your base period to support a claim. If you have a long work history, you could conceivably apply a year after layoff and still be eligible. By all means, apply now.

  22. Ed says:

    If my unemployment runs out and I do not have a job yet can I reapply for additional help?

  23. Susan says:

    I have claimed approx a third of my available $ benefits with proper work search data.
    With 7 more weeks of $ to claim.

    A seasonal employer would like me to start on October 24.

    Will I be able to continue to collect if I enter this date into PROMISE HIRE DATE?
    Does the promise hire date – replace the 5 work searches normally needed?

    • You keep filing claims for each of the weeks you do not work. Stop claiming when you start the job. Do not enter anything into the “Promise Hire Date.” Doing so may stop your benefits. No, “promise hire date” does not replace five work searches. You need to continue to conduct work searches until you actually start this job on October 24th. A “promise” may never materialize.

  24. Lizzie says:

    If your employer has mentioned for the past two (2) weeks that he/she is in a very difficult financial situation with his personal checking account being overdrawn and no monies are coming in, and telling his employees he/she might not be able to cover salaries for the coming week since he has no money. (Granted, it is very true his account is negative, but also comments made as threats to employees in order to push productivity to enlist new business) Does this qualify for filing as unemployment?. Further, it should be noted, the employer does not ethically or legally run business “above board” so to speak.

    Do these things qualify for leaving an employer and filing unemployment to seek other employment opportunities?

    • Your employer hinting he may not be able to pay is not good cause. When the day arrives that he actually does not pay you or states definitively that he will not be able to pay you, then you have grounds for a quit. If employer is breaking the law and asking you to do the same, this, too, would be grounds for a quit – but expect employer to contest and you will need to appeal. FL’s benefit is very low – $275/wk for 13 weeks – so factor that into any decisions you make.

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