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Florida Unemployment Eligibility

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.

Florida Unemployment Eligibility Calculator

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Florida Unemployment Eligibility Requirements

In Florida, unemployment benefits are available to claimants who are unemployed or partially unemployed through no fault of their own. That means to qualify, you must not have been fired for gross negligence or willful malfeasance, such as major violations of company code or policy. Claimants must also have worked in Florida within the past 12 months (occasionally longer, depending on the claim). And they must also have earned sufficient wages during the base period.

The base period in Florida is the first four full calendar quarters of the last five full calendar quarters before the unemployment claim was filed. And within that base period, the claimant seeking reemployment assistance benefits (as they are called in Florida) must have earned at least $3,400 in gross wages; that is a primary eligibility requirement according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

To put things in perspective, that’s actually just $65 each week. Also note that a claimant must have worked at least two of the four quarters, and that their total base period wages must be 1.5 times that of their highest earning quarter. Remember, Florida reemployment assistance is for claimants who were temporarily displaced in the workforce…that is to say, who were working before. The Social Security Administration has other types of state benefits and there are also federal benefits for claimants whose work history does allow them to collect RA benefits.

Also, note that the amount of money made in your base period will determine your weekly benefit amount. See a Florida unemployment calculator to learn what your WBA would be.

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;
  • Must have worked in Florida during the past 12 to 18 months.

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.

In order to collect unemployment benefits in the Sunshine State, you will need to meet the unemployment eligibility requirements. These requirements pertain to the weeks you collect unemployment insurance, and also to your base period earnings before you file your initial claim.

Ongoing Eligibility Requirements

To maintain ongoing eligibility for unemployment benefits, the state of Florida has several requirements. The first requirement is that you must be able and available to work. Transportation and childcare are not valid excuses for avoiding this requirement unless a certain job is outside of reasonable commuting or someone in your family is sick.

Another requirement is that claimants register on the Employ Florida website, which is itself a resource for locating new employment. Once registered, they will be able to access the CONNECT portal where they can make their biweekly claim for Florida unemployment. In fact, making this biweekly claim and reporting all wages earned (if any) is another ongoing requirement. While filing the weekly claim, claimants will also need to input details about their ongoing work search.

The Florida work search is another requirement to collect benefits. Generally speaking, claimants must make 5 contacts per week, which can include visiting a Career Center, applying online, attending a job fair, going to an interview, or handing in a paper application. When collecting your weekly benefits, as part of your biweekly filing, you will be required to input details about the nature of your 10 contacts (5 per week). If you live in a county with less than 75,000 people, you are only required to complete 3 work searches per week.

Possible Reasons for Unemployment Ineligibility

There are some reasons why claimants might be ineligible for benefits. If you left your job with no good cause (for instance, because you just didn’t like it), or were fired for gross negligence or willful misconduct (such as fighting with another employee or a customer), you can be ineligible.

If you have already been collecting benefits but chose to not accept a suitable replacement job paying at least 90% of your previous salary (and even less as they continue to collect unemployment), you can be denied future benefits. If you are on a voluntary leave of absence or paid leave, you cannot also collect unemployment benefits.

Claimants cannot collect unemployment benefits from multiple states at the same time. And if you were not initially eligible to collect unemployment (because of insufficient earnings in their base period) you are also not able to collect unemployment.

However, note that an employee put on temporary leave with a promise to resume employment is eligible for collecting unemployment during their temporary layoff. At the same time, unlike other states, Florida residents who leave their workplace as part of a labor dispute may not qualify for collecting unemployment.

If you do not keep up with your work search requirements, or you begin a new job and earn more than $275 that week, you may also lose benefits (in fact, if you start a new job, it is time to stop collecting benefits). Lastly, if your unemployment insurance runs out, there is no Florida unemployment extension and you should contact the Department of Economic Opportunity to discuss reemployment programs. About $3,300 is the maximum amount of benefits one can collect over the course of 12 weeks.

Tips for Maintaining Unemployment Eligibility

Here are some tips for maintaining RA benefits to ensure your process goes smoothly.

  • File your unemployment assistance claim biweekly
  • Apply for jobs through Employ Florida
  • Be honest in accordance with Florida law

While collecting unemployment insurance benefits, you must report all income earned, if any. When you apply for collecting benefits through Florida’s unemployment insurance program, you must report your base period earnings honestly to avoid inflating your weekly unemployment compensation benefits.

Florida unemployment insurance usually lasts around 12 weeks (it may sometimes increase based on the economy) and there are no extended benefits. If you feel that your RA benefits are not what they should be according to your base period wages, you will want to contact the unemployment office with a Florida unemployment appeal.

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 qualify for Florida Reemployment Assistance?

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 laid off for financial reasons, 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. will I be eligible for benefits. I was let go from my job because they thought I would be farther along in my knowledge after 10 months employment.

    • It may be considered as “Voluntary” separation from work.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility.

  2. I was working for a company for close to 3 years I was let go with the possibility of rehire a few weeks later, I was rehired a month later and fired again 2 weeks after rehire am I eligible for unemployment?

    • Depends. I think you may be eligible as long as you’re not on contract.

      Please contact the Unemployment Office for further details.

  3. I have worked for my employer for 10 years. Another company is buying ours and I will be displaced from my job in June. I will not be collecting social security. Will I be eligible for unemployment?

    • Yes, you can be eligible to collect Unemployment Insurance if you’re being laid off due to involuntary reasons.

      • Ok, thanks! One more question. I’m getting paid severance in a lump sum. Can I apply for unemployment the next day after receiving it?

  4. My mother, with whom I live, recently relocated to another county four hours away from where I work. I have to relocate to that county because I cannot afford an apartment yet. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?

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


    • Contractors are generally not eligible to claim unemployment insurance.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to check eligibility.

  6. Can you receive unemployment benefits if you were employed for less than 90 days and did not receive any warning or disciplinary action while employed?

    • The basic rule to eligibility is that the claimant should have active employment in the last 4-5 calendar days and should have separated from the job due to involuntary reasons.

  7. I am ineligible for FMLA, and I am having a baby. My employer is terminating my position once my PTO runs out. Will I qualify for unemployment?

    • If you are losing the job due to involuntary reasons, you can be eligible to claim UI benefits.

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office.

  8. Will I be eligible for unemployment if I am being scheduled 4-16 hours per week (part time job) but my job is calling me off or sending me home early everyday. Therefore, I am actually only working 4-7 hours per week. I am not getting the hours that I am being scheduled.

    • You can be eligible to apply for partial unemployment benefits.

      Please call the Office to confirm and apply accordingly.

  9. I live in Maryland and am employed in Florida. My employer fired me because I didn’t disclose that I got arrested (not Convicted) can I file for unemployment. and which state do I file if I am eligible.

    • If you were fired due to voluntary reasons such as non-disclosure of information, you will not be eligible to claim Unemployment Insurance.

  10. The company I work for for 8 yrs has lost its contract and another company is taking over. I have been offered a job with them for 1.50 to 4.00 an hr less and the company I work for now can only send me to another store which is nearly 50 miles or further from my home. If I do not accept the offer or the travel to another store can I collect unemployment

    • Ideally, if you quit voluntarily, you will not be eligible. However, there are exceptions.

      To ascertain if you can quit and collect Unemployment Benefits, please call the Unemployment Office.

  11. I was terminated last week I had went to work with an infection in my mouth and I was sent home outside I was hysterical crying he said I embarresed him , his name due to me crying outside the Resteraunt. I have worked for him for over 4 months. I think I was wrongfully fired. What are my rights, I did not do anything wrong per performance. I cover shifts for him, work extra for him and then he fires me for me being under distress outside the Resteraunt. Please advise me on what rights I have

    • To know the specifics regarding your rights, please contact the Labor Authorities or visit a local office. If your employer paid taxes towards Unemployment Insurance, you can be eligible to apply for UI benefits until you find a job.

  12. My question is, I am giving my two weeks notice reason is I am relocating to Florida am I eligible to get unemployment until I find a job?

  13. I am being threatened with a PIP, I have reached out to numerous supervisors and HR about the challenges at the job and asked for help, guidance and direction in writing. None has been given but they may try to fire me for performance. Can I collect?

  14. Hi
    I was collecting unemployment from NJ and I relocated to Florida but I was working a temp job and didn’t like it and quit after 2 days. Unemployment in NJ stop my benefits. Can I file for unemployment in Florida?

    • If there are any benefit weeks left in your account from NJ, you should be able to claim/transfer to FL.

      Please call the Claims Center of the Unemployment Office in NJ to find out more.

  15. I currently reside in Florida & my husband’s job has been transferred out of state-therefore I have to resign from my current job. Will I be eligible for unemployment while I search for new job in another state?

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

  16. Hi, I worked in Florida for the past 7 years until May and then I quit to move to Puerto Rico and started working, but, recently I got laid off because the company they say ran out of money. But nobody gave me a paper stating anything, everything was verbal, and out of nowhere without warning. I relocated here and have bills to pay. Should I ask for unemployment here? Go back to Irlando? Any help? Please!

    • Not sure if Puerto Rico has a UI benefits system. If there is no paperwork, if will be difficult for you to claim.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in Florida to see if you can be eligible to claim UI benefits from there.

  17. I was unhappy with my previous employer, I accepted another job offer and put in my termination notice. The company I accepted the job offer from retracted their offer. Now I am out of employment. Do I qualify for Unemployment Benefits?

  18. I have recently been laid off from my job without warning. I know its because I am 8 months pregnant and they don’t want to pay me, and I had to ask for payment as no maternity compensation was offered. I had 2 write ups , this all after I told them I was pregnant. I was going out in 2 weeks until they decided to let me go last week. Do I qualify for benefits? I dd a good job and was responsible and reliable.

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

  19. I have recently been laid off from my job without warning. I know its because I am 8 months pregnant and they don’t want to pay me, and I had to ask for payment as no maternity compensation was offered. I had 2 write ups , this all after I told them I was pregnant. I was going out in 2 weeks until they decided to let me go last week. Do I qualify for benefits? I ddi a food job and was responsible and reliable.

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

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  20. I have adopted 3 children I live and work in Florida. Have purchased a home in north Carolina. I have been at my job 14 years. After I move can I collect unemployment benefits while seeking work in north Carolina? Needed a larger home and good schools.

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

  21. I am 73 years old and have worked continuously in Florida for 30 years. I have worked from home for 3 years and the company will no longer have my position. Does the fact that I am drawing Social Security benefits disqualify me from applying and receiving Unemployment benefits>

    • Drawing SS benefits does have an impact when you apply for UI benefits which differs from one state to another.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further information in this regard.

  22. I moved to Florida 6 month ago with unemployment benefits front New Jersey, I worked 13th years there.Now I am trying to find a job and my benefits finished. Can I apply for unemployment benefits here?

    • If you have weekly benefits left from your account in NJ, you will be able to apply.

      Also, if you left your last job voluntarily, you will not qualify.

  23. In the state of Florida, if your employer is not making payroll and paying employees late on a regular basis causing hardship on employees can an employee file for unemployment?

    • Well, UI benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Not sure if you will be eligible to draw during active employment.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  24. I work part time and my hours are event based…when hours are less for a period of time, I cannot make rent and pay bills. Can I apply for partial benefits to offset the loss in hours during those slow months so that I don’t lose my apartment? Is there a way to determine how much of a benefit I could get?

    • Well, part-time and contract employment is generally not eligible since employers do not pay the relevant taxes.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to determine eligibility.

  25. I was set up by people they wrote me up and I had no representative that represented me I felt as if I didn’t sign the forms that I would be fired on the spot they kept doing this to me until they fired me I had been there 14 years and never had any trouble until new mgmt. came in. they said I violated rules on the forms but I didn’t They made me sign them code of conduct violations Refusal to comply with a mgr. I didn’t do it and improper treatment of others I didn’t do that either. they made me sign them do I have any chance

    • Well, UI benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. Performance and behavior issues are not considered.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details.

  26. My husband and I both currently work and live full-time in Florida. We were recently informed that my husband is being relocated to California in November. This will lead to a promotion for him so it is an opportunity that we can not pass over. Will I be eligible for unemployment benefits if I resign from my job to follow my husband?

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

  27. I have taken customer service representative job in a collections dept. The job was misrepresented; the duties and responsibilities were not addressed up front. I realize now after 7 weeks will not meet the stats required for this position. Should I wait to be let go or resign? I need to make sure I can get employment till I find a new job. Thank you.

    • This is a tricky situation. Do not resign voluntarily. It may go against you.

      Instead, speak to the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm the eligibility.

  28. My husband just lost his job here in Florida. He is currently on a repayment plan with the State of Nevada for overpayment there. Is he entitled to collect here or will the payments go to Nevada?

  29. I was moved into a different position with a verbally abusive coworker. She was very hostile and intimidating with her words and treated me like I was not doing enough of the job. She is not a trainer and was asked to train me. I pulled her aside and asked several times for her to watch the way she approached me verbally as it was upsetting. I tried several attempts to get management in on the problem, but kept getting brushed off as my PA had other offices to attend to. I witnessed her upset a coworker and made her cry, I saw the whole thing and tried to comfort my other co-worker after the attack. I had a issue finding childcare as my son was put in VPK on the semester I did not ask for. Once I went through all my resources, i.e. daycares in area, ELC after school care, no one was willing to transport my 4yr old. I asked for a LOA under the FMLA for 30 days to relocate my dependent child into schools, trying to not lose my job. I was not granted this leave and had no other choice but to resign from my job. Am I eligible to apply for unemployment benefits?

    • You can be eligible if you resign due to hostile working conditions. Please make sure to keep supporting documents handy to prove your stance if there is a dispute raised by your employer.

    • You can qualify as long as it’s not voluntary. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state and apply accordingly.

  30. Hello. I was force to resigned by a certain date and If sign the agreement with a letter of resignation they would pay me until the end of August. If I signed the agreement they will not contest if I apply for unemployment benefits. It has also been a hostile working environment as well. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • You can apply for and receive Unemployment Benefits as long as it was not voluntary. Be open to proving your case if there is a dispute.

  31. I have been working for the company for 20 years. I started this year out on FMLA as I have lung cancer, went to STD until June 24th, the company now has did away with my position in the company and my sick pay also ran out on June 24th, They have offered me a one time severance package, and go on Cobra for medical insurance, do I have to wait till that severance money runs out or how do I determine when I can file for benefits have never claimed these beneits ever so this is all new to me. Thank you

    • You can consider applying for UI benefits after the expiry of the severance package. However, you should be able and available for work in the future to continue to be eligible.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office.

  32. My company’s contract will expire and another company is taking over. The new company is Moving to a new location which is much farther away. The commute will be too far.
    Will I eligible for unemployment if I quit?

    • You can be eligible for the distance factor.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  33. I am in a Medical LOA and will ask for an extension, medical or personal. This is due to my pregnancy at 38yrs with 2 previous miscarriages. I am afraid that if I dont get any type of LOA, I wont be able to perform my job and get fired, or because of absences. I dont want to quit, but my safety and my baby’s come first.
    Can I collect if I get fired or if I have to quit?

    • Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered.

      Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  34. I was laid off due to a work related injury.I did collect workmans comp and settled,am I still eligible to collect unemployment benefits

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

  35. I am a full time bonused assistant manager making 40 hours a week. If my hours are cut will i be eligible for benefits?

  36. My boss is psychotic and is very difficult to work with. My performance is not so great because of lack of training and inconsistency from her. Also does not pay payroll on time. If I were to be fired am I eligible. Or I I were to quit for these same reasons, do I qualify? I’ve worked here for 1 1/2 years

    • You can be eligible, provided you’re able to prove your stance if your employer disputes when you quit and apply.

      Please think about it.

  37. I moved to Florida in August 2015. I worked in Florida from November through June 9th 2016. Prior to moving g I was employed in Illinois. Do I qualify for benefits in Florida?

  38. I quit my job 5 months ago and started another one. This job just laid me off (reduction in force). Can I still collect benefits even though I have not been employed here 6 months?

    • As long as it is involuntary and you have employment for at least 4-5 calendar quarters, you can be eligible.

      Please use the ‘Benefits Calculator’ available on this site to ascertain eligibility.

  39. I have been at my job for nearly 6 years, but recent changes in policy are making it so that I am absolutely miserable at my job. Would I have any options through unemployment?

    • Unfortunately, if you quit voluntarily, you will not be eligible.

      If the work conditions are hostile and threatening, you can qualify.

  40. my employer made a schedule Tuesday I took a picture of it wed I called him Thursday and he said oh yea by the way I switched the schedule I told him I made plans already and will not be in if he fires me for that can I collect

  41. I was laid off the 5th of this month and was to receive a severance pay out on 6/1; my former employer paid it our earlier than stated on the signed separation letter. I read somewhere that there is a deadline in which you can file; for FL it’s advised that you file within the week; is there a definitive time frame in which you can file a claim in FL?

    • You can file as soon as the severance pay period is over.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  42. I am an RN and was fired today after 6 1/2 years at this facility. Apparently one of the doctors heard me say I didn’t like working here and was looking for another job and took it to my boss. I was called into the office and told “this isn’t working out”. Can I collect until I find another job???

    • Yes, you should be able to, as long as it was not your fault.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  43. I gave my employer a resignation date of may 22..they decided to move it up and accept my resignation as of may 7th for reasons not told to me. Would I be eligible for unemployment?

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

      Please check further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  44. My place of employment is closing They want to transfer me more than 10 miles away from my home. Do I have to accept?

  45. Hello,

    I recently went on leave from work due to medical complications of my pregnancy for 5 days now. I gave birth today, and my daughter is currently in neonatal intensive care due to pre term labor. She is currently in the hospital as well as I am. I will be unable to return to work any time soon. Do you think I qualify?

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

    • Please file over the phone or via the official website of the Unemployment Office in your state.

      Feel free to write back if you have any issues.

  46. Hello I transferred for the department of veteran affairs to a job in Tennessee, my husband worked for his bank for over 8 years and asked repeatedly to keep his job through telework which the company has offered in the past and my husband worked from home the previous year. They allowed him to continue working for one month after the move and then asked him to resign because their HR said he could not work from home. Although they do have a work from home program. Would he qualify for unemployment even if he resigned because they told him too. He has all the e-mails they sent him showing this was the case.

    • If they forced him to resign an the separation from the job is involuntary, he can be eligible to file for UI benefits.

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