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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 for 2022. Also for 2022, 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 worked for a short time but left after getting a call from my former employer saying they wanted to rehire me. I ended up taking the former employer position. However, on the first day the manager who rehired me said that he wanted to give the job to his friend instead. Now I am out of a job completely. I filed for UI but am having trouble reading the website wording. Am I eligible under those conditions described above. And what does “fact-finding” Complete mean. Also, under pending issues it states, “under investigation” They are concentrating on the employer who I quit from, not the most current employer who laid me off. Thank you for any help.

    • Well, it looks like your claim is being disputed. “Fact Finding” means that your claim is being investigated by a higher authority. You may want to prepare yourself for a hearing.

      I suggest that you call the Claims Center for further information.

  2. I don’t see anywhere what the “next step” is. I filed for benefits and pretty sure I read that I would hear soething in about 10 days. I have heard nothing. I got an email from a job search program. I sent them my resume. Now do I just wait? What is the next step? Its been 2.5 weeks since I applied.

    • It should ideally not take more than 7-10 business days to process your claim. Please call the Unemployment Office for an update.

    • You can be eligible to claim Unemployment Insurance benefits for any reduction in the standard hours.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office for further details.

  3. Left many messages for a “reviewer” to call me back, and left messages regarding what happened. Finally got a hold of the reviewer and she asked if I had went back to UI ONline and I told her I was unable to login, with the same credentials I had been using all along. So I got the 1800-204-2418 number which I have called numerous times to find out the reviewers # to call. So called the number given when unable to longin and budy all the time. The reviewer could of just told me if I was approved, she never even asked me any questions. What do I do?

  4. I have been self employed by my own sub chapter S corporation for over 30 years. Due to change in industry, I no longer have any clients, therefore, no work. Am I eligible for unemployment compensation?

  5. I resigned a job and gave notice according to the requirements of my position. My employer in turn terminated me. Am I eligible for unemployment for the time difference of my notice period and the date they terminated me? It is 3 weeks.

    • Well, if you resigned voluntarily, you will not be eligible.

      Please contact the Unemployment Office for further details.

  6. i was laid off 3 weeks ago from a full time job. I elected to take the lump sum severance package that was offered to me. I just accepted a part time job and my question is am i eleigible to still file for unemloyment even though i now have started a part time job. This was needed supplemental income until i can find a full time job.
    thanks!

    • Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm. As far as I am aware, you can be eligible to claim UI benefits for loss of the full-time job. If the Severance was paid out as a lump sum, you can apply immediately.

  7. I am trying to file a claim for unemployment. When I enter my driver license number exactly as it is on my driver license it indicates that the text is invalid. Please explain and advise. thank you

    • Well, this is a private forum and we do not have access to the computer systems. Please be doubly sure you’re typing the right information.

      Please call the Unemployment Office if the issue persists.

  8. I recently went through a divorce. At the time I was living in Michigan, moved down to Florida due to my divorce resulting in my quitting my job to come. I am actively looking for employment, I’ve been advised to file unemployment…first, I didn’t think I could file because I quit even though it was because I moved out of state and second, not sure if I should be applying (if I can) here or in Michigan? Any advice

  9. I’ve worked as a medical assistant in a private physicians office for almost four years. They knew when I was hired I did not keep up my certification and this was okay. Now the office is being taken over by a a large company. We are all having to apply for our current positions and go through hiring process. The new company only hires certified medical assistants and I’m told must be certified to apply for position. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits if I am unable to continue due to this?

    • Well, you can be eligible if they lay you off on the basis of certification.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm.

  10. I AM UNEMPLOYED SINCE JANUARY 2016. I FILED AND COLLECTED IN PR.
    BUT BENEFITS FOR 25 WKS WERE FINISHED WITH NO EXTENSIONS TO APPLY. AM I MOVING TO FL NEXT WEEK, AM I ELEGIBLE TO APPLY?

    • Unemployment Benefits are not revolving in nature. You will only be able to claim them for one whole cycle.

    • Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to establish further information and apply accordingly.

  11. i have worked from jan 2016 to april 2016 and unemployed since april 19,2016.
    i just got a job that is only seasonal hopefully i get permanent. the previous work was full time and worked there from june 2015 to april 2016. i start next week august 2 for the new job. but they told me they might let me go in december or january depending on business needs. if they let me go. does that make me qualify for unemployment? i heard you have to be at a job for so long

    • You can check more on eligibility on this home page of this website under the “Guides” section.

      Seasonal and Contracted jobs do not generally qualify.

    • You may call the Unemployment Office in your state since each state has its own rules in this regard.

  12. I am due back pay from unemployment and I cannot get anyone at the office to assist me with getting paid. I keep getting the run around. Who can I contact? HELP!!

  13. I worked as a waitress at a 24 hour restaurant on the graveyard shift, with only one other employee, the cook. I was extremely sick with the stomach flu, throwing up periodically…so was in no condition to work. After calling the two managers and several other waitressea, many times, practically crying on their voice mails, trying to get someone to relieve me and getting NO RESPONSE at all…no answer, no call back, I decided to put a “Closed for Maintenance” sign on the door, like we do when we have pest extermination, kitchen degreasing, carpet cleaning, etc. I did this after waiting almost two hours for someone to help, but none of that seems to matter, because I got fired for it. I think I did all I could do, and that it was the managers responsibility to answer…so, am I eligible?

    • You can apply for UI benefits, provided you’re able to prove your stance if the employer disputes at the time of processing the claim.

  14. I have worked for my employer for 6 months, today we came to an impasse and I told him I wanted to work out my notice. He refused to let me and insisted that he walk me out of the store right then. I wanted to leave because of his conduct, I saw him numerous times verbally abusing coworkers and customers alike. At this point I don’t know if I quit or if I was fired? Do you think I am eligible to file?

    • In either case, you can apply and claim on the basis of hostile work environment.

      Be ready to provide supporting documents in case if your employer disputes the claim.

    • Not sure though I think it should be net income.

      Please call the Claims Center for precise information.

  15. I have been terminated from my job effective 5/13/16 and my employer has paid a lump sum severance to me rather than payments over the period of the severance period.

    Can I apply for unemployment now, or do I have to wait to apply at the end of the severance period.

    • If the severance period is over, you can apply.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm.

  16. it says i get the maximum which is 275 but i only get it for 11 weeks max if i still dont find a job? also it says pending other state wages? how long can that take? should i call unemployment? to see if there is anything they need to speed it up. but also it says to keep filing?

    • You can only claim up the extent of weeks you were approved for.

      Please call the claims center to establish clear cut information.

  17. If my initial claim was challenged by the employer and after a hearing I was determined to be eligible, will I receive the weeks I was eligible in back pay or will the claim be paid from the decision forward?

    • They will be paid retrospectively if the appeal is passed in your favor.

      You will be required to continue filing weekly claims.

  18. I have been laid off but am getting 3 months pay as severance. However, the company is going to pay the 3 months of pay over 5 months. So smaller checks over a longer period of time. When will I be eligible for unemployment? After 3 months or 5 months? This is in Florida.

    • You will be eligible after expiry of the severance pay period.

      Please confirm by calling the Unemployment Office in your state.

  19. I was recently fired from my job for an illness that was beyond my control. I was given several write ups for the issue, but was still unable to control the illness. I had doctors notes for the times that I was unable to work. I made an honest effort to go to work even while being sick and was either sent home by my supervisor or would have to leave on my own because of this. They said that I was being fired for misconduct of their absence policy. Should I be eligible for benefits due to the fact that I was unable to control the illness?

    • Check with the labor authorities in your state. Its looks like, they fired you without any justification.

      You may be eligible.

    • Please call the claims center on the phone numbers provided to obtain one.

      You may also want to check on the official website for the download link.

  20. I received an IRS notice that my husband did not pay for unemployment on my taxes for 2013. We weren’t even living in Florida. How can I get this strategies out. The IRS is saying we owe a lot of money..

    • Please obtain a form 1099-G for the period where he received Unemployment Compensation and contact the IRS.

      • That’s the problem, he did not receive unemployment and we weren’t even living in the state of Florida or working there in 2013.

  21. I just got fired from my job but I have an unexpected trip out of the country bc of family issues back home will be gone a month. I leave in 2 days. When I come back end of may will it be too late to file or should I file before I leave? But I will have no access to phone unless I buy phone card but I will have access to internet. If I file when I come back will they pay me April? May ? The weeks I missed ?

    • The sooner you file, its better. You can still be eligible when you come back.

      Why don’t you file online on the move? The UI benefits will not be paid retrospectively.

  22. I was due for an Eligibility Review, but didn’t realize it. I received a phone call that said I needed to answer 11 questions online or call her back and do it by phone by March 10. I had the flu and was in bed for a week, so I didn’t hear the voicemail until the next day March 11. How can I fix this so that my small amount of unemployment isn’t shut off?

    • They will call you back as per the schedule. Until the completion of the review, the claim will not be forwarded.

      Please call the claims center and follow up. The phone numbers are available on the official website.

  23. I have a quick question. I was injured at home on 01/25/16 went to the local ER and was placed out of work for 4 days. I returned to work on 02/01/16 as directed by the er physicians note. My boss told me that I did not appear ready to return to work and that I should call the office manager the following day. This same day.. 02/01/16, upon arriving home..i had a certified letter from my employer stating that they received my request for fmla. I did not request this paperwork and the actual request form that the company uses was slid in 3/4 of the way through the medical request documents. I however.. Against my gut feeling, took paperwork to my doctor. During the waiting period for my doctor to finish up the papers, I received another certified letter from employer stating that I had until the 15Th of February to get paperwork turned in to HR. On the following day, Feb. 10th., I received yet another certified letter offering me cobra because I was termed on the 6th of February. I am still pending an adjudication determination in Florida. Does anyone with experience think I will be awarded benefits?

    • Please note, this is a website that provides information and assistance related to Unemployment Insurance.

      We do not have the required expertise in matters of Cobra or FMLA.

  24. Hello,

    My company that I am an Office Manager at has one employee that has quit several times then they hired him back (against my recommendations). Just recently he was schedule to work 8 a – 5 p but instructed to go to a local medical office for a respirator mask fitting. He never showed up to that medical office all morning during his scheduled work day. He finally showed up at work around 1:15 p (remember his work schedule was 8 a – 5 p) and was allowed to work that day. I feel this company does not want to fire him due to collecting unemployment. I feel he abandon his shift that morning and did not report to medical office as instructed then shows up when he wants to warrant firing without unemployment compensation. Am I correct or not correct and why on both?

    • If this is a one time exceptional behavior exhibited by the employee in question, you may be wrong.

      If he/she is fired without a reason, they will be eligible to receive Unemployment Compensation.

  25. I am 6 months pregnant, I’ve recently to the employer. Not too long after I told him I have been fired for an unfair reason. The employer said because I don’t obey rules which is not true and that’s not the real reason he fired me. I have proof from my coworkers saying that he was gossiping about me saying I am useless now because I’m pregnant. Am i able to still get unemployment?

    • Well, you could have been eligible to claim UI if you were able and available to work at present.

      Please check further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  26. My daughter works at a doctor’s office 4 days a week which is 32 hrs. and sometimes more during those four days. The office for the past year have been closing their offices three times a year for two weeks. They want to pay her with her accumulated vacation benefits (which are only 80 hours). They tell her she can’t claim unemployment benefits when they go on vacation. Is it legal for them to pay her vacation benefits even if she says no? If she expresses not to get paid vacation, she will not get paid a dime. Is this legal? At this time she does not have any vacation time left and they are out for two weeks in Tahiti and She will not get paid for 64 hrs. What can she do?

    • We do not have the required information on laws in your state in this regard.

      Please inquire with the Labor Authorities in your state for precise information.

  27. I was terminated from the job because of a calculation mistake.
    Do I eligible for applying the unemployment claim.

  28. I was fired from my job. I was hired to work 32 hours/wk and complete 26 units of patient care. I had to do much more than that, frequently exceeding the number of patient care units that full time 40 hour/week employees do. I am a single mom with 2 children still at home and due to their schedules and needs was the reason for only working the modified full time of 32 hours/26 units weekly. Company requires paperwork to be turned in daily by 10AM but when required to work the excess number of units the paperwork required an additional 2-4 hours of time to complete on a daily basis. I would be getting to the office at 9-10AM, work on paperwork till 10-12 and then see patients until 7-8pm and then trying to find time at home to do additional paperwork, often putting in 10-12 hour days. I was written up for not getting paperwork in on time and given a warning that if not improved in 30 days that I would be fired. I was doing very well until I had a week that I did 46 units of patient care! There were mix ups on getting some forms completed on 2 patients that were not my fault. I relayed the information to my immediate supervisor and my area director. Everything but these few forms were turned in. I then got the remaining paperwork completed but it wasn’t turned in until after I was off 3 days of the following week. I saw 2 new patients that were started over the weekend but again the paperwork for these 2 was turned in with the other 2 after returning from 3 days off. They used this to fire me. I had requested help multiple times and was given very little as evident by the number of patients/units I was required to see. If I had only been seeing the number of patients/units I was hired to see, I would not have had the problem of meeting the job requirements. I have documentation to prove the number of units I was doing on a daily basis. Do I have a claim?

    • Well, being fired for voluntary reasons does not generally qualify.

      If you’re confident of producing the required documents in case of a dispute, please consider applying.

  29. I have been working for a company off and on for 3-5 years. recently let go reason they said I would not take more hours I was working 25-20 they said I would not work more hours. I wanted more but they kitchen manager would not give them to me she took it and her favorite cook I got what left over. and they said my attitude. I did not have a attitude. I was getting upset because I wasn’t get more hours. I drive 35 minutues to and from do I have a claim

  30. Myself and 12 co workers were laid off due to lack of work. We will be paid through 12/25/2015. I have been offered a position with the same company but it is projected for March 2016. There are no positions right now so I will be terminated and considered a new hire if and when the new location opens. Am I eligible for benefits in the interim?

  31. Do I qualify for Unemployment Benefits if I am working and making $32,000 per year as a manager and my position is seasonal and I am being asked to take a position in housekeeping or maintenance at $10.00 per hour? Do I have to take this totally different position for that type of a pay cut?

    • Depends. If you refuse, it will be considered as voluntary resignation if you decide to leave.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  32. I have one and a half without work because the company stands for about two months for repairs, I can apply for this handy to use while the closed company, and can be retroactive?

    • It cannot be retroactive. If the job is seasonal, many states do not provide unemployment compensation.

      Please confirm further with the labor authorities in your state.

  33. If I am on unemployment and have the opportunity to take a seasonal job for 6 to 7 weeks how will this affect my unemployment benefits

    • It will have a bearing since you’re earning an income during this period.

      Please call the claims center to understand the pertaining rules in your state.

  34. my husband & I own a business that is incorporated in florida. due to low sales we are selling the business. we have pd into s.s., medicare, fwh & unemployment for over 26 yrs. Will we be able to file for unemployment? Thank you

    • I guess you should be able to as long as you’ve paid the relevant taxes into the system.

      Your status of being the business owners may have an impact. Please check with the labor authorities in your state.

  35. I’ve just been laid off with an effective date of 11/13/15. The company is providing a 22-week severance package. 1) Will I still qualify to apply for unemployment? 2) If yes, do I have to wait until after 11/13 to apply for unemployment? 3) Why am I unable to apply for this online? The online links fail whenever I click on them. Thank you –

    • You can be eligible to draw unemployment benefits only after the severance pay period is over.

      With regard to your question about applying online, it may be temporary issue. Please contact the customer service.

  36. I was laid off October 1 of this year. I have found other employment, however no job around here pays nowhere close to what I was making. I am making less than 1/2 of my wages I was making and I am now employed with a company who is one of the top paying jobs in a 50 mile radius of me. Am I eligible to apply for benefits to try to make up for some of the lost wages?

    • I am afraid, you will not be eligible to receive any compensation for lost wages.

      There can be claims made for reduction in the number of hours worked.

  37. I’ve been filing for benefits and have been receiving them perfectly fine since the end of July but my last four claims have been put on ‘Hold.’ I’ve tried to be patient but it’s been a month since I last received benefits.

    I’ve called the toll free number and have been met with busy lines and told that there is a pending adjudication. There’s certainly been no adjustments to my file. Why were my benefits put on Hold, is this a system glitch or is someone reviewing my case??

    • The only way up to the resolution is to follow up at regular intervals. They may have their hands full.

      If the phone lines are not working, please check if you can visit the nearest office in your locality for an update.

  38. I just recently was receiving unemployment, I just tried to log on o file for my last 2 weeks and my account shows as inactive? I am now employed but never got a chance to file for my last two weeks. Is there a cut off to file, if so can I still file for those weeks that I was never paid for?

  39. I was injured off the job and was receiving short term disability. After my MD lengthened the amount of time I would be off my employer called and told me we were ” parting ways as she had to fill my position” This happened on 9/29/15 and I was released today by my MD to return to work. Well now I have no job, am I eligible for benefits?

    • You can be eligible for benefits if the exit was mutually agreed and sounds like a lay off.

      If you’re able and available for work, please consider applying for UI.

    • It depends on how much you’ve been approved for.

      Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

  40. Hello, I have been working for the same employer for about 1yr. and 10 months.. I have had issues with my attendance as far a tardiness due to transportation and other reasons which has resulted in write ups, if fired for this cause will I be able to recieve unemployment benefits.

  41. I am currently working full time at a grade school here in Florida. But my mother is now 90 and I am her only helper. I am checking to find out if I might possibly qualify for benefits if I quit my job to care for her? I could work part time but I need insurance. I just need to speak with someone.Thank you

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

  42. My job in Florida has been eliminated by my employer. They ask me to work until 11/2/15 to get severance. We have no family here and are considering moving to Idaho closer to family. Can I collect unemployment from Florida living in Idaho?

  43. I was just told that my hours are being cut to 20 from 40. I have worked her for almost three years. Can I file for unemployment and still work the 20 hours at my current employer?
    Thanks,

  44. My current job has told me if I can’t return to work by a certain date due to being out sick and on short term disability. Will I be able to qualify for unemployment? I have limits of what I can do, but my place of employment does not have a job I can do with my disability. Also, if I applied for long term disability, but was denied what does one due? What is child assistance?

    • You may not qualify for unemployment insurance as you’re required to be able and available to work. Please explore other benefits such as Workers Comp to check if there is a provision for your current health condition.

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