Florida Unemployment Benefit Questions

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.

  1. I need knee replacement, both knees, and my employer does not have health insurance or any other benefits. Will I be able to apply for unemployment while I am out for these surgeries and recovery period. I do not know how long that will be, usually it is 12 weeks from the surgery to the end of recovery per knee. I am not even sure that I can apply for FMLA since this employer has less that 25 employees and doesn’t offer benefits of any kind.

    • Angela,

      Unfortunately, UI benefits are only provided to claimants who are able to and available for work. If the health condition is related to work conditions, please explore options under Workers comp. benefits.

  2. I lost my job in March and was approved for unemployment benefits since April 5,2021 it is now August 26,2021 and I still have not received any thing I have been unable to work due to COVID-19 and having a sick child I am a single mother of 6 and I always work and take care of my bills but since I haven’t received any thing from unemployment which I was approved for benefits but it’s a error that keep disqualify me from my claimed weeks which I keep claiming my weeks since April 5 but I can’t get thru to Boone on the unemployment hotline can someone please help me a stir me in the right direction can me and my family have been evicted from our house and we are about to lose our vehicle if I don’t receive any payment or speak to someone…

    • Sheika,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

  3. received unemployment for 5 weeks today . Only received one $600.00 reemployment amount with it. Will the other 4 weeks of $600.00 still be coming ? Or will my next check have one?

  4. I went online to claim. It said because I had a claim 6 years ago .I’m in the system. What’s my pin? I don’t remember where I left my coffee 5 minutes ago. So when I hit it the response is..I’m sorry we have no info on you. Call this number that says we are to busy to take your call and they hang up. I have no income at this time to even buy toilet paper if I find it ! 2 other girls at work said they were locked out online. Let’s fix this online glitch.

    • Call 1-833-353-6799. I applied for unemployment 5 years ago so didn’t remember my pin either. Call that number they will give you a temporary pin and then you can put a new pin in. I did that yesterday. Were very helpful. Hope it helps you. Carine

  5. My job is having a temporary furlough, they offered to pay 25% of my pay if I volunteer for this furlough for 3 months, will I still be eligible for unemployment and does that 25% come out of the weekly amount I would receive?

  6. I have worked part time for the same company for almost 11 years in which I have always had a set schedule I worked 10 to 7 for 6 years 8 to 5 for 5 years and was approved for changing availablity from 830 to 2 for almost 4 months though now all of a sudden my hours are being cut to only 4 a week I have never been wrote up not ever had a bad evaluation with this company to now be cut to 4 hours a week would I be eligible for unemployment?

  7. I claimed my first 2 weeks this morning. How long before the deposit goes through? I am in FL. Direct deposit is already set up just wondering once you claim how long for payment?

    • My wife and I were residents of Florida. She took a position in Denver, Colorado which required relocation. My last day of work in Florida was November 22nd, 2019 in order for me to accompany my family. Am I eligible for benefits.

      • Mark,

        In some states, you can be eligible as a trailing spouse. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

    • Mary,

      The ‘waiting week’ is typically for 7-10 days after which your payments will normalize as per the timelines.

      • I was unemployed on july 3 right before the holidays and left for my out of country vacation. I was unable to apply til my return on july 15 but my first week of unemployment was the week of july 8 can this be fixed? i tried calling but its a 2+ hour old with no virtual hold option available in the prompts.

        I also want to know if i get offered a job, will my benefits go away once i get an offer? most employers hiring process takes 2-3 weeks before start date. Will i still be paid unemployment for those weeks im not working waiting for the job offer start date?

        • Daniela,

          Firstly, you can go ahead and directly apply without calling the office. Applying a few weeks late should be fine. Secondly, weekly payments stop only when you stop applying. For more clarification on the time gap between joining, please call the Claims Center.

  8. My place of employment is closing. I have worked there for 10 years. I will receive severance package for 8 weeks. Would I be eligible for unemployment benefits? I do draw some Social Security benefits.

    • I was arrested and received a judgment against me. Which made me disqualified from employment with most providers regulated by the Dept. under Fla. Law. I was told I was guilty until I proved myself other wise. I was also told I remain not elglble for employment until the final court disposition to the Department’s Background Screening Unit has been reviewed. Can I apply for unemployment under these circumstances.

      • Since the proceedings of the case are still underway, I am not sure if you qualify for UI benefits. Please call the Unemployment Office for assistance.

  9. I resigned from my job. I have copd and degenerated back problems. I’ve filled for disabilty. Can I apply for temporary unemployment

    • Diana,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who’re able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for more information.

  10. I started a new claim a few weeks ago, it said eligible up until today where it said distributed. I am set up for direct deposit and it is not in my account. Does this take a day or two after the distributed date to reflect in my account or do I have to wait a additional week?

  11. if i file for unemployment then move out of state during or after the waiting period will that effect my claim?

    • Nani,

      To qualify, the claimant is required to have active employment and earnings during the “Base Period”. Please contact the Unemployment Office in your state.

  12. my claim was set to inactive. how do we know why? I have been logging in every few days and entering my benefit requests on time?

    • Sharon,

      Please note this is a private website and we do not have access to your claim. Please call the Claims Center and discuss with a representative.

  13. If I file for unemployment and my previous employer paid for my school, will unemployment assist with school payments?

    • Kat,

      Unemployment insurance is purely a weekly monetary benefit which takes into account, your previous earnings only.

  14. My claim says it has a pending issue and is in a justification to keep claiming weeks. Also I was sent information that 40 % of the unemployment will go to child support but then the payment status says hold. What is going on? I claimed the weeks done the job search I have not received a denial or approval nothing!!

    • George,

      Please note this is a private forum. If you have claim-related questions, please reach out to the Unemployment Office.

  15. I am working in a very hostile work environment, and may not be able to remain employed there. Am I eligible for unemployment if I leave the job for the reason of hostile workplace and discrimination/harassment?

    • Tina,

      You can quit and claim UI benefits under hostile working conditions. Make sure to keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute.

  16. I am currently receiving unemployment benefits and start a new job next week which I am very uncertain about, but am taking because of lack of other opportunities. IF I start and do not stay after several days, am I still able to receive my current unemployment benefits?

    Thank you

    • Herb,

      I am guessing you should be able to claim until the employment starts. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  17. my employer laid me off, they are a religious organization and says they did contribute to the florida unemployment. is that allowwed and therefore i cant apply for benefits.

    • Jeff,

      If they “did” contribute, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  18. I would like to resign from my company. We get paid every two weeks. The company is in a bad way. We are losing clients rapidly. Our paycheck for Nov 15th was not received until Nov 17th. Our Human resource person resigned on Nov 17th. The funds used to pay us came from somewhere else. Our bookkeeper has also resigned. Our manager has resigned. We have a skeleton crew of 6 people. I know we will not be paid on Nov. 30th and I really do not want to work for no pay. I am actively searching for a job, but unfortunately nothing has come my way. Based on this information would I be able to resign and collect unemployment benefits?

    • Nancy,

      You should be eligible for full or partial UI benefits. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to ascertain eligibility before making a choice.

  19. I’ve been collecting unemployment because I was laid off because of Hurricane Irma. I’ve collected my first 2 weeks but now two weeks after it says my money is on hold. Any idea what that means?

      • I recently checked my unemployment and it said money was deposited, 3 days away how is that possible, and what does that mean?

        • Carlos,

          It might credit your account anytime now. For clarification, please call the Unemployment Office.

  20. I recently resigned from my job for 2 different reasons. 1st was I had a job offer with better opportunities and hours, 2. My son is struggling through high school and to me its important to make sure he gets through this last year an a half of school and being at work at 430am every morning I wasn’t able to get him going as a result late to school missed the bus and not succeeding,Im the only parent he has, his father passed away last year. I accepted a job that would allow me to be a parent and still bring in income , Unfortunately the job never fell through. I’m currently seeking employment but would I be eligible for unemployment from my original job? I don’t know much about this so I’m inquiring

  21. I recently did my first unemployment claim but I didn’t put that I was working for that period of time… I will receive my first pay check tomorrow.. I was planning on calling tomorrow as soon as they open. Are there any repercussions?

    • Nelson,

      Don’t worry much. Please inform the Claims Center ASAP and if need be, you will be required to return the payment.

  22. Does unemployment pay for the weeks it takes to determine eligibility. I have been out of work since September and filed for unemployment for 10/01. Will I get money for 10/1 – determination?

    • Scott,

      This week is considered as the “Waiting Period” and the claim payment begins after this period. Please call the Claims Centre for further details.

  23. I was self employed for 16 years. Recently moved from FL to NY due to husband’s job.
    The self employment was I was in practice as a mental health counselor and the business
    was owned by my husband and myself. Can I file for unemployment in FL?

  24. I have worked for my employer for three years ,two of which I have been his office manager and Nurse. I recently found out that my employer may merge with another doctor and expects me to become the other doctors employee and receive my paychecks from this other doctor and also take a pay deduction. My boss never discussed this with me until 6 days prior to the move and merge and I dont even know this doctor or where the office is located. The reason my boss is doing this is because he is going under financially and closing his private practice. My question is Am I eligible to draw unemployment since my boss is closing his practice and I won’t officially be employed by him. ? I have not agreed to work for the other doctor whom I don’t even know or met!!!!

    • Debra,

      If your employer paid unemployment taxes into the system and you’re asked to leave due to involuntary reasons, you should be able to claim.

  25. I have been displaced by Hurricane Irma. I do not have a permanent address so I opted for the net spend direct deposit which i have been with for over 2 years. Benefits is now saying it does not accept Net Spend cards! How do i collect when i am homless!!!

  26. If you are married and relocating to another state for employment, can your spouse collect unemployment if he/she follows? The move is from Florida to Texas.

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  27. If a company purchases the current company that you work for and the new owner fires you within 90 days of taking over can you collect unemployment benefits

  28. I have been fully employed in NJ for my entire life, I just relocated to Florida and have been terminated, do I file in NJ or Florida?

  29. I was out sick for 5 days which I have a doctor’s note for, if they give me a warning and I do not sign it (would result in termination) will I be eligible for Unemployment? I have been employed for 4 months.

    • Jess,

      Personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered. You may not qualify. Please call the Unemployment Office to inquire further.

    • You can be eligible to collect from the current state.

      Please speak the Unemployment Office to find out the procedure.

  30. I’ve been a temporary employee for the last 4 months. The environment is toxic and I don’t seem to find another job as an alternative. This has become a big frustration for me. Would I qualify for unemployment?

    • Ashley,

      Please inquire with your HR department if they remit Unemployment Taxes on your behalf. Temporary workers are generally not eligible.

  31. I drive a school bus for a private co out of Naples FL but my schools are in Osceola Cty, they questions asks if my physical location is different than the company and it is but I drove for a few different schools in Osceola Cty, all charter schools.

  32. I have just had to relocate from Florida to California to take care of family. So I had to quit my job in Florida. If it’s going to be a month or two until I can work in California, am I eligible to claim unemployment in California or am I eligible to take unemployment in Florida. Someone told me if you relocate that may qualifie. ?

    Does relocating to a different state qualify.?

    • You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office.

  33. Do I understand that I cannot file for unemployment till my benefit year is up? mine is (I believe June 4) .I think thats the case but want to make sure before I leave the library

    • I suggest you contact the Claims Center on the phone number provided for clarification in this regard.

  34. If your employer writes bad payroll checks that are returned NSF is this grounds to end your employment and still be eligible for UI benefits? Is there a certain number of bad checks required before you could do so? Right now we are waiting to see if his most recent check will clear, his last one did not.

    • You can be eligible to quit under specific circumstances are draw UI benefits.

      I suggest that you call the Unemployment Office to inquire further and decide accordingly.

  35. I was recently put on probation from work and was suppose to get a responnse from the office by wednsday it is now friday and have not heard anything from them. They suspended me without pay staing that I did not take blood presures on a patient which i had been and I had someone else helping me. I have been with the company for 5 yars and this is crazy. I have also had an altercation that the doctor started byt cursing and yelling at me for unknown reasons and was asked not to work with this doctor. They put me back with the same doctor I think for failure. He lies and no one wants to work with him. Will i be eligible for unemployment

  36. do i qualify to receive UI benefits if i got laid off from my full time job but i still have a part time position at another company?

    • I am not sure if you can be eligible to receive compensation under such circumstances.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  37. I live in Fl and work for a national company my office was in Fort Myers I was termed after 13 years and got 14 months severance. I applied for early retirement but would work if a job came around can I still collect unemployment and early retirement

    • If you moved out of the job voluntarily, you will not be eligible to collect Unemployment Benefits.

      Please contact the Unemployment Office for further information.

  38. just finished collecting my last unemployment check for the period claimed in 2016. can I apply for compensation for the year 2015 which I worked for the same employer?

    • You can only apply once for a full cycle. UI benefits are not revolving.

      Please call the Claims Center to inquire about state provided benefits.

  39. Hi I’m trying to find out if I have a “Good Cause” for leaving my current employee. I have been working for 12 years now with same employer and I have been sticking in there thru several incidents that I considered inappropriate, staff and management changes. The stress is starting taking a toll. I have put everything I can to hang in there but the situation is not changing. I don’t expect (hopefully) to be out of work for an extended period of time. I guess me just to know if this would qualify for a “Good Cause” to collect while I search new opportunities. . I appreciate your help on this matter.

    • This is a tricky situation. If you quit voluntarily unless it’s an acceptable reason, you will not qualify.

      Perhaps, you can call the Unemployment Office to clarify.

  40. Hello, After 3 yrs. at my former job , I stopped employment in good terms to start a new job closer to my residence., After 3 months working at my new job , I was forced to terminate my job by my former employer due to Non – compete. Will I bee legible for UNemployment Benefits?

  41. After just over 2 years on my JOB I became so sick with symptoms of chemical allergies “like several of my co workers” that I had to give notice and quit because of that hostile work environment to my health, at the advice of a Doctor after MRI’s, CT’s, X-Rays and ENT Doctor. 4 doctors seen over 18 months of sick on the job and being told to just suck it up by the Employer. Workman’s comp said no specific date of an accident ” no claim approved “. Can I qualify for UI ? I left work 1/18/2017

    • Yes, you can be eligible to claim benefits if you left the job due to “hostile” working conditions.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

  42. I found out today I am being laid off as of 3/1/17. I have been with the company for almost 8 years. I’m 1099 will I qualify for unemployment?

    • Contract workers are generally not eligible. If your employer paid the relevant taxes on your behalf, you can draw compensation.

      Please check with your employer.

  43. I was fired Feb 8, 2016. It was a blow to me and came out of no where. I have taken sometime to regroup and at this point have not filed for unemployment. I am at the point where money is tight I am starting to look for a new job, but nothing has come up. Am I able to file now based on my last job?

    • You should have applied immediately after becoming unemployed. To qualify, you should have sufficient employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters and you don’t seem to have worked during this period.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

  44. If I am given early retirement and a package. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? What are the chances I will receive these benefits?

    • You should be able to apply as long as you continue looking for employment.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for confirmation.

  45. I have not worked for 10 years. I was hurt at work and then fired. I got a worker comp settlement. Am I able to apply for unemployment benefits?

    • To qualify for Unemployment Insurance, you should have active employment during the Base Period (last 4-5 calendar quarters).

  46. I have just enrolled for unemployment and I limited in allowed job searches because I would like to apply worldwide.

  47. good morning. I want to know if in your work you lower the hours one can qualify to receive unemployment. Since I’m supposed to be full time and I’m working only 3 days a week. And that is affecting me.

    • Yes, you can be eligible to claim partial Unemployment Benefits for reduction in full-time hours.

      Please consider applying.

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