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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 a full time job. Job ended 1 Jun 2015, however, I still had a temporty job, which now ends on 7 September 2015. I have been able to find a part time job. Question is, can I draw partial unemployement until I work my way into full time?

    • Please speak to the labor authorities in your state and file accordingly if you’re allowed to draw partials benefits.

  2. my daughter’s employer continuously takes 2 weeks vacation 4 times a year, causing reduced hours or zero hours one of the two weeks. He informs her that she is not entitled to claim unemployment benefits during that time. Is this true? She works for a Florida Podiatrist.

    • That is correct. She may not be entitled to receive UI benefits if the job is seasonal in nature or if the time off is scheduled every year.

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

  3. My questions is: I stopped receiving unemployment back in nov 2013 after receiving a job. The jopb lasted only 6 weeks. Is it possible to regain the benefits still allowed to me? I have not worked since nov of 2013.

    • Please call the customer service of the labor dept in your state for further information in this regard.

      I guess you should be able to claim the remainder of the benefits in your account.

  4. I was fired from my job at the end of May 2010 due to no fault of myself and I did qualify for unemployment after a review. I collect from April of 2010 until the end of September 2010 due to finding new employment. I was layoff from my new job at the end of March 2014. I heard I only can collect unemployment for 19 weeks. Can I go back and still collect from my previous employer since the extension wasn’t enforced at that time???

    • There is no extension available at this time.

      Please call the labor dept in your state to ascertain if you have any benefit weeks left.

  5. As a new hire I am on a one year probation from my current job at fl dept of transportation It seems that as the 1 yr is approaching soon ( aug19. 2014). They will be terminating my employment Would I be eligible for unemployment compensation ?

  6. I was layed off the 27th of june I applied for unemployment and got a letter saying monetary determination, but what I was really wondering in florida how long do u have to be layed off before you can get unemployment.

  7. I did goggle and for unemployment, this website popped up, it states one of the reasons you may be edible for benefits is if you had to leave your job to care for a family member, I resigned my job to care for my father with several failing health issues and is at this time unable to drive himself any where, I have applied for benefits and have been denied because of my reasoning behind me needing to resign my job, they state I left my job for personal reasons/caring for family member, I am confused as this sites states that this would be one reason I may be eligible for benefits?? I have applied for an appeal. Also denied me when I still submitted for weekly benefits because I was not seeking or available for work during those weeks, If I was able to work with my current status with my fathers health I would not have resigned my position, any one have any input to help me out understanding this?

    • Not sure where you saw the information on our website. Please note that any type of voluntary unemployment makes one ineligible for UI.

  8. As a preschool teacher, I do not work the summers. If in the fall when I return to work and they have no job for me, would I be eligible for unemployment?

    • Your eligibility depends on a range of factors. Please consider applying for UI benefits if you remain unemployed.

  9. I was approved for 52 weeks but they only gave me 26 that I could claim. I have one week left and no job I dont know what to do?? It says I have benefits until November 2014.

  10. I have been diagnosed with Epilepsy and can no longer drive to my current employer. Even if I took mass transit there is a concern about me causing injury to myself or a fellow associates. When and how do I start the process for unemployment or disability ?

    • You can look at claiming disability benefits. Unemployment benefits are only extended to those who are out of work and ready to accept a suitable job offer.

  11. I am being verbally and mentally abused at my current employment, by the manager. There is no one above her…if I quit because of the pressure before I am able to find another job, is there any recourse I can take for unemployment?

    • If you’re able to substantiate and justify the reason for quitting,you can look at availing benefits and support from the labor department from your state.Please speak to family and friends before making a decision.You can also speak to the Labor department in your state to find out about the grievance mechanism.

  12. I recently moved to florida from alabama where I had to leave my job of 17 years. I applied for unemployment from Alabama and they sent me a form saying that I have to be registered with the unemployment service in the state that I live, but I can not find out where to go to do that.

  13. I filed a claim after being laid off 12/23/13. I have already claimed weeks two times and am about to claim again next week. Back in March 2013 I was terminated from a different job filed a claim appealed it but was denied benefits. I understand that my claim from March stays open until March 2014 even if I am not receiving benefits. What I don’t understand is when I was laid off from a different job in December and I filed unemployment is stating that I didn’t earn enough money and I was $50 short in order to receive benefits. Everything I read online states that if you worked two or more calendar quarters within your benefit year and made over $3,400 you qualified. Just in 2013 I earned $16,978 and the last quarter of 2012 I earned $8956 so how am I not eligible? I keep calling back and getting a different answer everytime. They had me fax in my last paycheck stub showing my total earnings and I also faxed in my W2 because my last employer did not report my correct earnings. Now 3 weeks later unemployment says that the adjudication department now has my claim and I need to wait another 2-4 weeks. Why should I have to wait when I am clearly eligible. Is there anyway to speed this process up as I am a single parent struggling?

  14. I was terminated falsely as the company is having financial problems and fired staff instead of laying off. This medical company has monopoly in the county and tried to keep others out, so they don’t want to let it be known that they are in trouble. Cut out uniform allowances, bonuses, Christmas, birthday, anniversary gifts, health insurance ( previously paid by the company) is no more, and sent email of no increase for this year. Firing staff without cause and lied about it started. I filed for unemployment online on 11/11/13, my last day at work, but cannot find a copy of it on line. The phone line listed is constantly busy. What do I need to do?

    • Hello. I have been going through a very difficult time at my jobs. I have worked at my current location for almost 8 years part time. Usually I have been scheduled to work 20 to 30 hours, but for most of the past two months plus I have been scheduled as few 8 hours in a week, and even then sometimes they cut the last day of my week and I lose 4 to 7 hours in a week (last week I only had 4.) There was a time that I was only scheduled to work only the first 2 days of the week and then corporate said that employees had to do their own reviews at the store computer. I was told to come on my day off for that. I clocked in for 1.5 hours to do it and on my check I saw the manager took one hour off. During the review the manager told me that I look unhappy and asked why I didn’t quit? How can I be happy after 7 plus years and getting as few as 4 hours in a week? This new manager has also given me a hard time about my availability. Before they came it was M-F morning and afternoon and she changed it to include Saturday without asking. When I put a request to keep my availability the same so I can go to church and be with family on Saturday and Sunday, she only gave me Sunday’s off. Then the hours started getting cut and when I expressed my displeasure she said she doesn’t have to give me more than 20 hours and asked if I wanted to see what a real schedule cut looks like? I said no, but now I’m getting hours cut, days cut mid week and being sent home early for not taking lunch when I wasn’t scheduled to work more than the six hours in a day that requires an employee to take lunch.
      I don’t and haven’t had any write ups or attendance issues. I have had to file for bankruptcy already due to my hours before not being enough (which I did inform my manager of) and since that time is when my hours have been reduced.
      Do I qualify for some form of unemployment for such constant low hours or even if I quit for fear and stress this has put on me? I’m the only healthy adult in my family (for now?) and I can’t support them on 4, 8, 11 hours, etc.

      • You can be eligible to receive unemployment compensation for any reduction in the standard hours.

        Please contact the labor authorities in your state and apply accordingly.

  15. I WOULD LIKE IF YOU COULD HELP ME. I WAS LAY-OFF ON OCT 23, 2013. I RECEIVE ON NOV 6, 2016 SEVERANCES PAID OF 15 WEEKS PLUS 2 WEEKS OF VACATION. WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO CLAIM UNEMPLOYMENT. DO I HAVE TO WAIT TO APPLICATED? HOW LONG MUST I WAIT/

  16. Hi my case has been in adjudication now for 5 weeks. system says renumeration fact finding complete, but still no determination has been made on my unemployment claim. Any Advise please help.

  17. I filed a claim after being on Workers Comp for just over 2 months due to an eye injury the job. When I contacted my employers after being released by the doctors for now my employers would not return my call. After filing my claim Sept 4, 2013, I have not received any payments nor has anyone contacted me from Unemployment. I have called over 20 times for some information because I am completely broke and I keep being toold my claim is in judication and that can take up to 30 days from the time I applied. I called lsst week and told they would expedite my claim but when I called today I was told that my claim may take another 2 weeks. I keep being told there is nothing that I can do no matter how much I call and try to express my desperation. What can I do when no will talk with my about my claim. I am close to losing my apt, have no money for food and not approved for any additional assistance. I will be starting a new job in 2 days but it will be 2 weeks before I will get a pay check. I NEED HELP.

    • Have you applied for any assistance using the Compass website? Compass determines your eligibility for many many types of assistance from what you enter just the one time, food stamps, medicaid, child care, etc (interested? just type compass in google and go from there). You were given correct information in that there is nothing you or most anyone in the unemployment office can do until a decision is reached. Churches often offer assistance. The government organization in each state that helps unemployed people find work – whatever it is called in your state – has information on other ways to save – use their fax, copiers, newspapers, county discounts on medications, food banks, etc. Good luck in your new job!!

  18. I was recently transferred to another store that I worked where I was making 39-40 hrs per week. My new store gives me 30-33.5 hrs per week. My question is, would I be able to collect unemployment for the lost hrs?

  19. I live in Florida and left a part time job with Winn Dixie to get more hours at WALMART in April. Yesterday I got laid off after working many weeks at 35-40 hours per week. WALMART says I was a “seasonal” temporary hire. Does this affect whether I can get unemployment? Thank you for your help.

    • I worked as a temporary for 10 months with hopes of being hired on, that did not happen. The company had me use their temporary service – which is 50 miles away from my home. I worked mostly full time up until a few weeks ago, and the time was cut back, and back until they let me go this week. Can I in FL file for unemployment from a temp job? I plan to check with this service and see if they have anything else but I am afraid they won’t in my area. If they don’t can I file? Thanks in advance. I did make around $38,000.00 working last year with them. Not sure how much you have to make to file.

      • They usually consider four of the last five calender quarters when you file for UI. Please speak to the claims center in FL before you decide to file to check on eligibility.

  20. I applied for unemployment in June of this year. My initial claim was excepted, my ex- employer then lied about the circumstances of me being fired to get me denied of any benefits . I spoke to an unemployment representative , it was a Thursday, I do have a letter on this discussion . On this Thursday I spoke to a woman about why I was fired, this is when I found out my ex employer had lied to her. This woman was not helpful or nice to me in any way. When I tried to explain the situation she cut me short , then preceded to tell me that I had to go on line & do a resume with the last 15 years of my employment. I do not have internet, because I can not afford i, I do not have access close by to a computer at this time. As far as remembering the last 15 years of employment goes, I am only 32 years of age. When I spoke to this woman on Thursday she told me thus is what I needed to do. I then received a letter of denial on Monday, which was mailed on Friday, not even 24 hours after I spoke with this woman. I became discouraged & seeing that I was denied for failure of not doing as I was told , I didn’t fight it. I have enough stress . I have a family to take care of, as a man, it hurts not to be able to provide for my family . I then after about a month received an appeals letter, which I did not know anything about. As far as I knew I was denied. So for the two months I thought I was denied, I could have been putting claims in. About a month after I had an interview with the appeals officer, I hadn’t heard anything, so I called. This is when I was informed I won the appeal. A letter was supposedly sent out Thursday August 15, the day sfter the appeal. I never received the letter. I had to call two times within 2 weeks after that, because I was told each time a letter had been sent. I finally a week ago received the letter. I’m not sure what the heck happened all this time , all I know is it’s been a horribly stressful time! Can I file by phone? And when do I file? Am I entitled to retro active payments? Thank you for your time!

  21. i was just layed off and am actively looking for work. i am receiving social security benefits. can i get unemployment.

  22. I am being laid off-last day worked will be Sept. 4. Severance will be paid in a lump sum on Sept. 15 in the amount of 8 weeks wages + 35 hours of vacation time. From what date am I entitled to unemployment benefits? For example: Sept. 5 (first day after last day worked), Sept. 16 (day after last check received) or Nov. 4 (8 weeks after layoff) plus some allowance for the paid vacation time?

    • Always call the first day after last day worked anytime you are out of work or your hours are reduced. Discuss the circumstances with an umployment representative right when they happen will give you the best advice on how to proceed.

      • I have called mailed letters got my attorney involved. It was confusion that I didn’t know what to do how do I get back pay I feel I am entitled to since I was constructively discharged.

        • I just read over your previous posts and if I understand you want “back pay” from unemployment. Unemployment benefits start when the claim is initiated. You can ask them to back date the start of your claim – this can take time and may not be worth it. Please consider this – your claim runs 1 year from the date initiated – if you start it in January, it ends in January. Now if you ask them to back date your claim to October of the previous year – your claim will end this coming October. If you have managed to get by this long (tough as it may have been) why not keep the claim that is giving you more time in the future (your current claim) with unemployment so high – you might really need it more then than now. FYI – even if the unemployment office is willing to back date a claim, there are limitations on how & when they can.

        • Would love to try to help you. This is not the unemployment office, but we have some knowledge and are willing to assist. Please post a question or a description of your problem. Otherwise please contact the local office for unemployment in your state.

  23. Hi in Florida, does payment start from last day worked or when claim was filed. I was constructively discharged. I appealed the decision of denial. I won the appeal and was awarded. Due to the complexity of the case, I was constructively discharge in 10/2012 and submitted the claim in late January. I thought they had to pay me and the employer would be charged from last day worked not when claim filed especially in discrimination, harassment hostile work environment ect.

    • Hi Jack,

      You seem to be entitled to receive partial benefits as your working hours are significantly cut. Please check if you meet other eligibility requirements. The state may choose to not reduce your benefits amount based on your SS check.

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