Florida Unemployment Benefit Questions
How do I apply for Reemployment Assistance benefits?
You may apply for Florida unemployment benefits either in person at your local CareerSource center, or online at FloridaJobs.org. If applying in person, please call your local CareerSource center to confirm its hours of operation before you visit. Online applications may be submitted Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What happens after I complete my application?
Once you’ve submitted your claim for unemployment benefits, the first thing you should do is register with Employ Florida, which is an eligibility requirement. This registration will require a valid email address and that you submit a current resume.
You’ll also need to regularly check for correspondence about your claim, depending on the communication preference you’ve selected, and respond promptly to any request for additional information related to your claim. This will help ensure that your claim is reviewed and approved in a timely manner. In addition, you may be asked to attend a meeting at your local CareerSource center to begin developing a reemployment plan.
How many weekly work searches do I need to complete in Florida?
In order to remain eligible for reemployment assistance benefits in Florida, you must meet the work search requirements and be able to show five documented work searches each week (three weekly searches if you live in a rural county). For each job contact, you’ll need to document and submit the date of contact, the method of contact, the organization’s name, telephone number, address, website, email, the results of your outreach, and the type of work you were seeking.
Some exceptions apply to the five-search minimum, such as the following:
- Residents of low-population counties are required to submit three work search contacts each week.
- Union members must remain in good standing and maintain regular contact with their union.
- Those under a temporary layoff and scheduled to return to the same employer within eight weeks are entirely exempt from work search requirements.
- Those enrolled in an approved training program are exempt from work search requirements.
How often do I receive Reemployment Assistance benefit payments?
You will receive your reemployment assistance benefit payments on a biweekly basis. You will have the choice of receiving your benefits either as a direct deposit into your bank account or as funds preloaded onto a debit card.
For those who select the direct deposit option, funds generally appear in bank accounts within one to two days after a benefit claim has been approved. Debit cards, on the other hand, are mailed after the first benefit payment is processed and may take seven to 10 days to arrive by mail.
How much unemployment will I get and for how long?
In Florida, your unemployment benefits have a weekly benefit maximum of $275 and a total maximum of $3300. The duration of benefits is capped at 12 weeks. Please note that the duration of benefits is adjusted according to the state’s unemployment rate, while the weekly benefit maximum remains the same. The Florida unemployment calculator can help you anticipate your weekly benefit amount.
What if my unemployment claim is denied?
If you receive notice that your unemployment benefits claim has been denied, you can file an unemployment appeal. You must submit your appeal within 20 days of receiving your notice of determination. Your submission date will be considered as the date on which it is postmarked or otherwise date-stamped, depending on the medium you use for submission.
You must submit your request for appeal in writing – you may do so by mailing a letter to the address specified in your letter, or you also may submit your appeal through the RA Help Center or CONNECT. A third option is to fax your request for appeal.
What is unemployment adjudication?
Unemployment adjudication is the process the state will take to settle a dispute or come to an understanding when a claimant and a former employer disagree about the circumstances under which the employee lost their job. For all practical purposes, adjudication describes the fact-finding process to determine whether an unemployment claim is valid. When someone applies for Florida unemployment benefits, one of the first steps the state’s labor department makes is reaching out to the former employer to learn more about the circumstances for the loss of work. In many cases, the former employer will validate the reason for the employee losing work, but if the employer questions or refutes the unemployment benefits claim, that claim subsequently may be denied. In this case, the claimant has the option to appeal the determination. When that happens, there may be an adjudication hearing in which the claimant has an additional opportunity to present information about how they lost their job.
In addition, a licensed adjudication officer may be assigned to review all necessary documentation and make an eligibility determination based on Florida unemployment law. The adjudication officer will review the original unemployment benefits claim, gather any available new evidence, and conduct interviews with the parties involved in order to make their determination. Through the fact-finding process, the adjudication officer may contact you directly to address any questions about your claim. The entire adjudication process can last anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on the complexity of the situation and available documentation.
Can I cancel a claim that I have just filed? If so, what must I do to request that the claim be cancelled?
You can cancel a claim within 20 days of the date that your claim was determined, provided you have not received any monetary benefits.
Once a claim has been cancelled, it cannot be reinstated.
To cancel the claim, you must request the cancellation by writing or faxing a letter to:
Department of Economic Opportunity
Special Payments Unit
P.O. Drawer 5350
Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350
Fax: (850) 921-3938
In your letter, you must state the reason why you want to cancel the claim. The letter must contain your Social Security Number and your signature.
Where did Florida get the information that I worked while receiving benefits?
The Department of Economic Opportunity has partnerships with the State and National Directories of New Hires that provide information regarding an individuals’ employment status. In addition, benefit payments are compared to wage records reported by employers to the Florida Department of Revenue. We also receive tips from the public and from employers in response to periodic notices the agency mails.
I am unemployed. How can I pay back this money owed?
If you are presently unemployed through no fault of your own, you may file a re-employment assistance claim and a determination will be made concerning your eligibility. If you are determined eligible, the weeks that you claim will be used to repay your overpayment first. If you have benefits available on your claim once the overpayment is repaid, you may receive those benefits if you are still unemployed.