Florida Unemployment Eligibility

The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation is liable for managing the state’s unemployment insurance fund. As per the Florida Unemployment Compensation Law, an applicant’s eligibility depends on his work earnings history, his capability to keep seeking available work while collecting benefits and his reason for joblessness. Suitable claimants must file biweekly claims to keep on collecting unemployment benefits.

Monetary Eligibility

To establish a monetarily eligible reemployment assistance claim, a person must have worked and earned wages during a specified period of time called the base period (first four quarters of the previous five completed quarters prior to filing a claim).

To be eligible monetarily, a person must:

  • Have been paid wages in two or more calendar quarters in the base period;
  • Have total base period wages of at least 1-1/2 times the wages in the quarter having the highest earnings;
  • Have at least $3,400 total wages in the base period.

This calculation is automatically done at the time you file your claim.

Non-Monetary Eligibility

Once your claim is determined to be monetarily eligible and you have claimed weeks, your non-monetary eligibility must be determined before any benefits will be paid to you.

Below is a general description of the issues which can affect your claim:

  1. You were discharged (fired), you quit, or you are on a suspension or leave of absence from your last employer or other recent employers.
  2. You are a school employee and you are not working because you are between terms or on a vacation or holiday.
  3. You are unable or unavailable to work or to accept work or you are not looking for work or you have failed to report five contacts with prospective employers for work during a claim week..
  4. You are currently attending school or training.
  5. You are currently self-employed.
  6. You are obtaining payments of some kind from a recent employer.
  7. You refused a suitable job offer or you refused a referral from the One-Stop Career Center to a suitable job.
  8. You failed to participate in Reemployment Services scheduled at the One-Stop Career Center.
  9. You failed to complete the initial skills review on the Internet.

Eligibility Questions

I was fired from my last job. Will I be considered eligible?

In case you are fired for a reason like you were not good at the job or you did not have the skills to carry out the job, you must be able to receive benefits. But in Florida, employees who are fired for misconduct related to work may not be eligible for jobless benefits. Misconduct is defined as an intentional or controllable act (or failure to act) that shows a planned disregard of the employer’s interests. An employee who is fired for the following reasons will usually meet the criteria for benefits.

  • carelessness,
  • performance problems,
  • inefficiency or
  • good faith errors in judgement.

My employer is laying me off due to monetary crisis. Can I avail UC?

Usually, in Florida you have to have to have lost your job through no mistake of your own so as to collect unemployment. When you get jobless, it is not your fault. In nearly all cases, this means that if you get out of work, you are qualified to receive unemployment benefits. If you get laid-off from your job, you must instantly apply for unemployment benefits. Getting laid-off doesn’t mean that you were fired. Getting laid-off doesn’t mean that you did something incorrect. Getting laid-off means that the company you worked for did not have enough work for you to do, and could no longer afford to pay you for your job.

Will quitting a job affect my eligibility?

In case you quit your job, you won’t be entitled for unemployment unless you had a good reason for doing so related to your work or a personal illness or disability. In case you left your job because your spouse was transferred by the military, you will remain entitled for benefits. And if you left a temporary job since you were recalled by your permanent employing unit within 6 months after termination, you will qualify for benefits. Following causes may also be accepted by the law :

  • Cause attributable to the employer
  • Accept other work,
  • Relocate,
  • Care for a family member,
  • Distance to work,
  • Unhappy with the job

Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>Calculate your benefits here

  1. Hello, I left my last job in October due to some bad stuff happening there that was unaddressed, and mental health. I’m currently going to a doctor and have started taking medication, but I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go back to work. Do I qualify for unemployment? Thank you.

    • Dear Rob,
      You may qualify but it has to do with how you left your job. It depends on if you quit voluntarily, got layed off, or were fired–and other factors. It sounds like you left due to a medical problem, in which case you can collect unemployment. To be eligible for unemployment cash benefits in Florida, you must also have made a certain amount of wages.


      Please call your local office, and they can help you figure out your wages. If you have the time, going in person is a good option.



  2. I just separated from my position with Fdot, due to the distances i have to go to and from work, they and i agreed that it wasn’t working out, especially during times of emergency Oncall. Am i eligible for unemployment benefits.

    • Dear Jeff,

      You have a shot, especially if your employer is willing to write down that your travel distance is interfering with your ability to do the job. Florida is ranked #50 for filing for unemployment, so be sure to call the office often and expect reps to be short with you.

      Good luck.


  3. I worked for a large company. An anonymous complaint was filed against me claiming I had threatened a coworker (I did not). No witnesses came forward or were sought by HR.
    A few days later, HR fired me for “unbecoming behavior” without a hearing or me being able to defend myself.
    Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

    • Jim,

      This is a tricky situation. You can be eligible if you can prove otherwise in case of a dispute. You can also consider filing an “appeal” in case they deny.

  4. I have been the director of a team of 8-employees. Due to budget cut-backs and refocusing of the company finances it has been decided to let go of all 8 employees and have be do their work. This is not possible and is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. I am trying to find another job but have not found one yet. Would I be able to get unemployment if I quit for this reason?

    • Sharon,

      I can understand your condition. Please note UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment due to no fault of their own. If you’re planning to resign, please note you might become ineligible.

  5. Work at a car dealership with a big shortage of inventory due to Covid. Was told if I don’t sell 8 cars by the end of this month I am fired. Only at 1 car sale now and have to take a few days off to take care of my grandpa who just got a foot procedure done. This will prevent me from selling 8 cars. If I leave now to take care of my grandpa and know that I can’t sell 8 cars, am I eligible for unemployment?

    • John,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. UI benefits are only offered to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons.

  6. Employed 10 years and company sold to another dealer. I was transferred as a technician but I had many other responsibilities that effected my pay with the former company. The new company is eliminating all of the other responsibilities and offering me technician duties only which means my pay will decrease by more than half. If I do not accept this and choose to look for other work will I have benefits until I find a new position?

    • Frank,

      You can be eligible to claim under specific circumstances. Before you make a decision, please call the Unemployment Office.

  7. If I was laid off in January, but for various reasons have not applied for Unemployment. can I still apply for unemployment now? I am in Florida

  8. I had 3 strokes in October of 2019 after 6 months went back to work for the same company. In January, 2021 I had a heart attack on the job site and a week later had open heart surgery. I have not been cleared to go back to work. Am I eligible for any type of unemployment benefits? Where do I go to file?

    • James,

      Hope you get well soon. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please check further on the UI website.

  9. I have been working for a company for 10 years FT, then the company was sold to another company that onboarded me as a temporary employee only for the transition that is estimated by them to take up to 6 months. When can I apply for unemployment and which employee to make the claim on? Thanks

  10. I’ll be quitting my job in Michigan to follow my spouse who is taking a better job in Florida (non-military). Would I be eligible for unemployment until I find a job in Florida?

  11. My husband worked in Florida in 2018 and half of 2019. We then moved to Illinois, where he has been furloughed from his job because of the coronavirus. He has been unable to get paid unemployment benefits in Illinois for the past six weeks because Florida has yet to contact Illinois with my husbands work history from 2018 and 2019. Is there anyone we can talk to in Florida to get them to send this information?

    • Tess,

      Please reach out to the Unemployment Office in Florida. The phone numbers are provided on this page.

  12. I live in FL and work from home for a company based in NY state. My hours and salary have been cut by 1/5 due to the virus. Am I eligible to collect unemployment for loss wages? I found out the NY state employees in the same situation where able to apply for a shared work program and qualified for a portion of their loss wages.

  13. I worked last year in Illinois. I started work in Florida in January but was let go due to COVID-19 in March. Which state Do I apply in?

    • I am a teacher but relocating to Florida. If I am unable to get a job In Florida can I apply for unemployment? I am.worried the schools won’t be hiring due to COVID.

    • Hi. I live and work in Florida and was furloughed at the end of March. Shortly afterwards I successfully applied for Florida unemployment. I was just now received an unexpected lump sum payment for five days of vacation earned. Tomorrow I am going to ask to my employer to reverse the payment and keep in on the books when I come back (or find another job). If my employer doesn’t reverse the payment, I am not sure what to do, that is does Florida have an exemption for such income, or how do I report the payment to UI? FYI, I believe the gross amount may be more than $275.

  14. I live in Florida but work as a contract instructor for a company in Oklahoma an instruct classes for Federal Aviation Inspectors at the Academy in Oklahoma city as well as “on the road” teaching at the F.A.A. offices nationally.
    Do I file for unemployment in Florida or Oklahoma. My next 3 assignments have been cancelled resulting in lost income.

  15. Because of the pandemic, older folks are asked to stay home. I am 66 yrs old & only have one lung due to cancer. If I chose to stay home, am I entitled to unemployment & am I required to look for work?
    Thank you

    • Louise,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

    • Rick,

      Please note UI benefits are only available to claimants who lose employment due to no fault of their own.

    • Jack,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

      • Hi Jack,

        I am in a similar worker status, indepoendent contractor yet not full time and reduced hour availability. I was hired to work for Census Temp and couldn’t complete the fingerprinting process prior to March 18th. My question is: I have an open benefit year ending in August, 2020 yet exhausted benefits. Can I receive an extension due to COVD-19 and my current work status without needing to reapply? I am in Florida. Not sure if they would allow EB and I cannot find info in their website.

        • Cristina,

          You should be able to claim in line with recent announcements. Please consider applying.

  16. Due to the coming sale of my company, I left to a new company in Oct. Unfortunately one month later they let me go saying I was not a good fit for the position. I was starting at a new company in March 16 but they informed me that due to the virus my position was being put on hold. Can I apply?

    • Nora,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

    • Your state has activated the ‘emergency funding’ program authorized by the federal government. We recommend you to apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official website.

  17. I moved from Texas to Florida for work. I have been in Florida for a month but am now being laid off. Do I apply for unemployment in Florida or in Texas?

  18. Does the State of Florida allow for “voluntary unemployment”. With the COVID-19 affecting most businesses, could I draw UI for doing a voluntary unemployment?

    • Teri,

      Your state should have activated exclusive benefits based on the COVID-19 situation. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office.

    • Vincent,

      A person receiving severance pay can be eligible to claim UI benefits. If it’s a one-time payout, please consider applying right away.

  19. I left a job after 8 years with the company, 4 weeks vacation time, good benefits and great pay due to a new manager that was hired and did nothing but bully me day in and day out. I discussed the matter with my boss who talked to him about calming down but it still went on to a point I had to quit due to day in and day out anxiety. Is it possible for me to collect unemployment?

  20. In August, 2019, I was hired as an Administrative Assisted by the Director of Emergency Services. Then in October, 2019 she quit, leaving our department with an Interim Director. The Interim Director is asking me to voluntarily submit my resignation because she doesn’t feel I fit the job skills she’s looking for (although she is allowing me to give 2-week notice). Can I claim unemployment benefits?

  21. I am current federal employee working in the law enforcement field. Working in the law enforcement field I am forced to retire at the age of 57. After working 20 years for the federal government, and forced to retire am I able to file a claim for benefits. Thank you

  22. I quit my job on 10/18/19 to care for my parents due to seizures, partial amputation and diabetes. The notice of disqualification shows the reason for quitting was not attributable to the employer in accordance with statue 443.101. It also states I am not entitled to receive benefits beginning 10/13/19 and until I have earned $4675 although I earned $18,406.98 during July/Aug/Sept as shown on the notice of monetary determination. The determination states I was disqualified as it was personal although it was not my personal illness or injury and I am available to work if employment is received. What statute can be used to substantiate my claim and also correct the date offered by employer/ deo assistance program?

    • Rebecca,

      Unfortunately, the system does not take into account, personal reasons for becoming unemployed.

      Hope your parents get well soon.

      • I filed for RA on 3/8/2020. I looked today at my account and under claim status it says ineligible. My question is how long does it take after you apply before you find out you are eligible.Thank you

        • Ralph,

          You may want to find out the reason you’re not eligible and see if it can be corrected. Please call the Unemployment Office and discuss in detail.

  23. I was working a fulltime job which they laid me off and a partime job which I am still working here in florida. The partime is still 25 hours a week. Can I still apply for unemployment for being laid off from my FT job?

  24. Hi Sam,
    Pls help me! My husband he have new job in this company from aug 12 he have been there 77 days the probation time have to 90 days. In 60 days there they have meeting and approve Healthcare insurance for my husband but oct 28 he have car accident on the way go to his job almost 5 minutes from his company. He have to stay in hospital in 02 weeks. So, his company the lady human resourse sent the letter in mail box terminate his job on oct 31. So, he dont have Healthcare insurance to cover his bill in hospital i dont know she have decide to fire my husband while he have car accident is it legal or not legal and he have nothing about Healthcare too event they tell him they qualified his Healthcare in 60 days
    Pls tell me now what can i do? I know righ now he can not work because he have surgery in his arm and he dont have benefit nothings why the people no feeling and not help event here accident nobody want do they need to fire people have accident it is really hurting my husband feeling i am really not happy

    Pls reply to me as soon as possible

    • Hello Kim,

      Sorry to hear about the accident. Hope your husband recovers soon. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who’re able and available for work. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for possibilities once your husband recovers completely.

  25. I am 61 years old in a management position. I recently was made aware of my job being posted on Indeed and interviews being conducted for my replacement. Can I quit before being terminated and still receive unemployment benefits or do I need to wait to be terminated? This company has a history of offering a lower position in hopes that you will quit, would I have to accept a lower position or would this be considered forced termination?

    • Mark,

      Please do not resign since it may go against you when you apply. Please call the Unemployment Office to understand how they would treat your situation.

      • I did call the unemployment office yesterday, sat on hold for 30 minutes. I was told by the person who answered the phone she didn’t know the answer, she asked the question to those around her and I was told to call the labor board and they gave me the number. Sat on hold with them and was left with the only option of leaving a message. Still waiting to hear from them.

  26. recently started a new job (within my 90 days) during my 90 days I had a hospitalization due to chest pain, due to working in a high stress environment of a production based business. that had triggered my anxiety and caused my angina to flare up I was denied FMLA and ADA accomodation and have been fired even after providing all medical documentation from my physicans that during the time of treatment I was unable to work, upon being medically cleared to return to work i was terminated am I eligible for unemployment?

    • Serenity,

      I suggest you contact the Unemployment Office since UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons.

  27. I am caring for a sick parent and have exhausted all my FMLA time. Been with the company over 3 years but they have me on a final written for attendance now and I have 2 hours of time before they terminate. I’m still caring for my sick parent… Would I qualify for UC if I either resign my post or get terminated?

    Thank you,

    • Lee,

      Unemployment insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  28. i was a full time security guard for a company in nj for 5 yrs I ended up resigning to relocate to florida beause my family member was given a job offer am I aloud to file for unemployment due to family relocating tht I lived with

    • Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Office for clarification.


    • Deann,

      I am not really sure. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification. Ideally, you should be reporting all types of income.

  30. I voluntarily left a job I worked at for three months. The reasons were that I was unable to do the plant manager job I was hired for. The place was so understaffed I spent most of my time as a production worker. The boss also knowingly made me send out inferior product (metal roofing that was warped) and that didn’t sit well with me. (Many jobs were rejected and came back, just to be thrown away. He also has to replace 5+ already finished roofs.) He was also very aggressive, hostile, and demeaning in the way he treated me, though he was smart and didn’t put much in emails and texts but would do it verbally. To give you an idea, 12 people also quit, from various departments, in just the short time I was there, due to his mistreatment.

    Just for background, I took this job after being laid off from another company after 11 years. I was determined eligible for unemployment but I started my new job before collecting any.

    I understand that because I voluntarily left, I’m not eligible in Florida, but given the circumstances that I feel forced me to leave, is there any way I could be accepted? Any info is appreciated.

    • Nick,

      If you’re able to prove it was not fully ‘voluntary’ in case of a dispute, you should be able to collect. Make sure to keep supporting documents handy.

  31. Hello,

    I am a young woman, 5’2″ and an older and much bigger man than myself at my office began to scream at me, using bad words and derogatory names, then stood up and got physically in my face and continued to scream at me. I put my hand out and asked him to stop and I removed myself from the office. I filed a police report and my boss refused to fire the man who nearly physically assaulted me. I asked that if he wants me to feel safe at his company that he would have to either fire that employee, or let me work from home as I feel like I am in danger. He refused to do either of the two and I was left with noo choice but to quit. Do you think I qualify for unemployment while I look for a new job?

    • Katie,

      That is such an ordeal! I can understand what you must be going through. You can be eligible to claim under these circumstances. Please make sure to keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute.

  32. My husband is a groundskeeper at a property on the Intracoastal and was asked to destroy an iguana and he refused, saying He would not do such a thing. If he quits, will he be eligible for monetary benefits? They may still terminate him because he refused. Just thought i’d ask.

    • Nina,

      It takes a lot of courage to makes such decisions in the workplace. Your husband’s stand will always be appreciated. He should be eligible to claim UI benefits if his employment is terminated. Please ask him to call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

    • Shannon,

      You should be able to. Please consider applying and make sure to keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute from your employer after applying.

  33. My spouse and I are moving to Florida. One of us is being relocated – will I be able to file for unemployment because of this relocation? thxs

    • Vanessa,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. However, some states do offer UI benefits for trailing spouse. Please call the Office to find out more about the eligibility.

  34. My husband has been diagnosed with Late Onset Alzheimer’s and dementia. I am currently on FMLA but want to quit to take care of him as our financial situation does not afford us to be able to hire someone around the clock to sit at home with him. Is it possible to collect unemployment in the state of florida if I decide to quit my job to take care of him?

    • Hello,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office to confirm.

      Wishing your husband a speedy recovery.

      • I was a substitute teacher all of this past year & made over $3,400. Would I qualify for unemployment even though I would be substituting again when school restarts? I am not employed by the school a specific school.

        • Hello,

          Please call the Unemployment Office to understand if you can claim UI benefits as a contract/seasonal worker.

  35. I am a new Florida resident since November 2018. I worked from December 2018 – April 2019. I will at that time be layed off. I made about $20,000 in Florida during 2019. I made $25,000 in Michigan during 2018. I will be in Michigan form May until November, looking for work and then back to Florida from November – May again in 2019-2020. Would I file in Michigan or Florida?

  36. My husband developed a chronic illness and had to go on FMLA. The company put him on an extended leave of absence when his 12 weeks were over. A couple weeks ago, his doctor released him to go back to work under certain restrictions. However, the company advised there was no where they could put him to work under the circumstances. They do not plan to let him go, but instead kept him on leave. Which I’m guessing will stay that way until there are no restrictions. We don’t know how long that could be. Would he be eligible for unemployment under these circumstances?

    • Inger,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are extended only to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office to determine eligibility.

  37. I was recently laid off from my job. My husband is relocating due to a new duty station. Is it possible for me to collect unemployment benefits?

    • Shirley, yes. Depending on what state you are moving from, and if they grant unemployment to military spouses. My husband and I just moved from Florida to San Diego and I was approved for unemployment. I had to show I was actively searching and they checked into my previous employment and made sure I wasn’t fired for misconduct or poor performance and that I left strictly because of military relocation.

    • Shirley,

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

  38. My son graduated from college and is actively looking for a job. Can he collect benefits ? Work he did while in college was primarily on a “cash” basis (yard work, etc.) so he would have no prior employer to list on the website.

    Appreciate the response

    • I don’t think your son will qualify on the basis of a temporary/part-time job. Please call the Unemployment Office for more information.

  39. I was fired by the office manager of the practice I worked at and when asked why I was being fired her reply was “its just not working out, weve come to the end of our path” with no valid reason am I eligible for unemployment?

    • Carly,

      It depends on the “real” reason behind it. If you think you were asked to leave due to involuntary reasons, you can be eligible. On the contrary, if it relates to your performance or behavior, you will become ineligible.

  40. I am currently employed and have not been let go, however I was told there will be no work or hours for me for about two months (July and August). Is this considered being “layed off” even though I have not officially been let go and I’m expected to “ride it out” and continue working when business picks up in September? I was told that it is expected I should have enough savings to get me through the slow summer season from what I made the past 6 months, although I was really given no notice until about the last week of June I was told there is nothing for July/August. Am I eligible to collect benefits for the two months I will be out of work?

    • Chris,

      Technically, you’re still on the payroll of the company. Please call the Unemployment Office to find out if you qualify during this period of temporary unemployment.

  41. I have been working at a Farm Bureau office for almost 2 1/2 years as an Administrative Assistant on a part-time basis of four days per week. I was hired to implement farm programs for Farm Bureau Federation, take care of administrative duties for the Federation and answer phones and take payments for the insurance side of the company. We have had a new Agency Manager hired that is now requiring my position to work five days per week and obtain a CSR license (they will pay for the fee, 40 hr. course)to work with the insurance agents. I have no interest in the insurance side of the business and have been given two weeks to accept the changes or resign. Would I be eligible for unemployment while I look for another job, as writing insurance policies, etc. is not my background and I have no desire to do so.

    • Rose,

      I can understand your situation. However, I am not sure if you can be eligible if you quit voluntarily. Please consult the Unemployment Office (you can call them) before making a decision.

  42. I gave a 3 week notice at work and when the new schedule came out I was told that they had no hours for me for my final two weeks. I have another job lined up, but it does not start until April. Do I qualify for unemployment for that period?

    • Jackie,

      I am guessing you should be able to. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification before doing so.

  43. I started working as a substitute teacher/aide starting January 9, 2018. I have now been hire FT. Will I be eligible for UI benefits when the school year is over until school starts again after the summer break?

    • Elizabeth,

      Seasonal employment such as teaching is not eligible due to the nature of work. Please call the Unemployment Office.

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