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. I’m required to apply for unemployment as part of the process to receive food assistance through Medicaid. However, I cannot figure out what website I need to go to in order to apply. I live in Florida and I didn’t get fired – I quit due to the season slowing down dramatically. I know (as well as the agents at Medicaid) that I will not receive UI benefits. Please help me!

    1. Johnny,

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

  2. I am a partial owner (stockholder) of a business that was bought out by another company. Am I eligible since I had little say in the decision to close business?

  3. I was terminated from my job after four years of service. There was a fairly new employee that was rude and hostile that time and time again ignored. One afternoon she kept calling the main office number (even though she had manager cell phone numbers and extensions that she did not use and was in fact sitting outside the work place in a vehicle and just too lazy to get out to go ask her boss) and repeatedly kept asking me questions that i kept telling her I didn’t know the answers to and that she would have to check with her manager. I worked in the customer service field with high volume and I had customers needing my attention so I could not assist her I guess like she wanted. Finally she called once last time and I again told her I wasn’t sure etc. and she yelled and cussed at me over the phone before hanging up on me. I slammed the phone down and verbally and loudly called her a bitch. The other employees that were around could hear her yelling at me over the phone. When I called her a bitch there were no customers around and I was (or thought I was) just releasing frustrations. The next morning I was called in by the owners and they proceeded by saying they understand there was an incident the day before and I immediately said yes and let me apologize for the way I reacted to her and I told them exactly what happened and what I said. I expected to be written up and warned for my behavior but was never expected to be fired. No customer complained on me but rather co-workers informed the boss what had happened. During my employment I received several employee of the month awards, promotions, and good reviews from customers. In addition, I didn’t say a single work that has not been said by other employees but they were never discharged. Will this keep me from qualifying for unemployment compensation? Thank you in advance.

    1. Melanie,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, such issues can go against you when you apply for UI benefits. Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  4. I rec’d unemployment Oct, Nov, Dec of 2016 until 12 weeks ran out. which was quarters Apr/2015 through Mar/2016. When my benefit year comes up 9/24/2017, I still have not been hired anywhere, however, have continuously tried. May I reapply, since I have money in quarters April 2016 thru Sept 2016? Thank You

    1. Betsy,

      As much as I am aware, UI benefits are not revolving in nature and you can claim them only once for a full cycle.

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

  5. I am retired and I receive $898 per month from social security, but I need to keep working because it is not enough to pay the rent, light, food, water, etc. If I lose my job, am I elegible to receive benefits ?

  6. I was an independent contractor working for a company for several years. I was recently terminated. Do I qualify for benefits?

    1. Linda,

      Contract workers are generally not eligible to claim UI benefits. Please check with your employer if they remitted the relevant taxes and apply accordingly.

  7. I have uterine fibroids and was getting attitude from personnel because of my call offs, it’s very embarrassing and stressful to have bloody pants while working. I can’t afford to go to doctors because no insurance, if I quit my job I would qualify for state insurance and then I can have a much needed hysterectomy. The emergency room is where I got diagnosed and the doctor had stressed how badly surgery was needed. Would I qualify for benefits if I quit or should I let them fire me because of attendance?

    1. Denise,

      Hope you get well soon. Personal reasons such as health issues are generally not considered. I suggest that you call the Unemployment Office in your state for further consultation.

  8. I gave notice at my job to accept another job , now I found that the new job hired someone else and I am unemployed. Can I collect?

    1. Lisa,

      UI benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons. It looks like you resigned from the last job.

  9. I work 28 hours per week in an hourly position without benefits. When I started the job almost 3 years ago, we were not required to take any time off. We are now required to take off 2 weeks unpaid. Can I file for benefits when I am unemployed during each of these two weeks?

    1. Jean,

      If the employment is on a part-time basis, you may not qualify. I suggest you call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  10. I was laid off from my job in January and collected unempl.until mid-April when the firm called me back. (My benefits ran out at that time also). After 8 weeks they decided my position was being eliminated. Can I file for benefits again?

    1. Please call the Claims Center of the Unemployment Office to understand if you have benefit weeks left in your account and apply accordingly if the job separation was an involuntary one.

  11. I was out on FMLA for an infection in my foot that required two surgeries. My FMLA ran out and I have only been released by my surgeon to return to work for 4 hours x5 days a week. My status at the time of my FMLA running out was 40 hrs per week full time. I have been told that my FT position has been suspended due to no full time coverage and am offered a part time position in a different department which has job requires that are not condusive to my limitations from my surgeon. Not sure what to do.

    1. Theresa,

      Hope you get well soon. UI benefits are only extended to those who are able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office to explore your options.

  12. I was layed-off with 4 other people on the same day. My employer is asking me to sign an agreement saying “we have mutually agreed that it is desirable to end my employment” in order to receive a minimum severance. I am not in mutual agreement to end my employment – I was layed-off without notice due after the company lost it’s main customer. If I sign saying “I mutually agree” will this prohibit me from receiving UI benefits while actively looking for employment? If I do not sign, severance is denied. It seems if I sign I will lose the option of UI benefits.

    1. You’re thinking in the right direction. It may be considered voluntary.

      For clarification, please call the Unemployment Office.

  13. Summer is here, and I dont have the money to put kids in summer camp and I cant leave them at home alone, because I dont leave in a good neighborhood. I took them to work, but my boss says I cant have them there. He said afterwards that I could take them until I find somewhere to put them, but I dont have anywhere to put them in. Do i apply for unemployment at least temporary until school starts

    1. I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered.

      UI benefits are only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  14. I haven’t worked in 8 months due to waiting on social security disability. my pretrial is June 26th

    1. To be eligible to claim UI benefits, the claimant needs to have sufficient earnings and income in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

      Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website to estimate.

  15. My grandma lives with me and I had to call off because she became sick and I needed to take care of her. I was fired without my company following the attendance policy . I told them I needed a week and would be back after I found care. The attendance discipline policy would of had me suspended for the next call off. Can I collect unemployment till I find a job?

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

      Please call the Unemployment Office.

  16. I relocated with my job from Maine to Florida. My husband had to leave his job in Maine to come with me. Is he eligible to collect unemployment until he finds comparable work?

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

  17. If I am receiving severance, will I be eligible? If not, will I be eligible when my severance runs out?

  18. After 10 yrs of service I was medically discharged from the military in Sept 2016. I only get compensated through the VA. I am currently in school for a BSN and will be in school for the next 2 yrs. I have heard other past military personnel applying for unemployment while attending school, is this true?

    1. Since this program is state specific, I suggest you call the Unemployment Office to get clarification in this regard.

  19. I’m in Florida. I’m a bartender. I had a customer being rude to me. So I told my boss, this guy is being a ass! He got mad, said so he’s a customer, and said you’re fired. Can I collect been there for over a year. Never had any problems.

    1. Generally, voluntary reasons are not considered.

      Please contact the local Unemployment Office to inquire further.

  20. If I do Leave of Absence without pay at my job, due to recent child birth , will I be eligible to receive unemployment?

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

  21. I’m considering quitting my federal job with the National Park Service. I’m a career employee with 25 years in the system. I have become emotionally and physically overwhelm with situations at my job and very unhappy that I need to step down. Would it be eligible for unemployment benefits?

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

      However, if you’re working under hostile/threatening conditions, you can be eligible.

  22. After working full time for 6 months my hours have reduced to 20 hours per week. Can I collect til I go back to full time?

  23. In Oct 2016 I resigned to my job of 6 years for personal reasons. Then I was asked to help at a CPA’s office. Tax season is over so I finished working for her due to verbal abuse. My last day with her was 3/31/2017

    1. It looks like you were employed on contract. If “Yes”, you may not qualify.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  24. Job being eliminated Aug.
    I receive $800.00 a month in Social Security.
    Can I receive unemployment compensation in Florida

    1. I suggest you call the Unemployment Office for clarification in this regard since the eligibility depends on multiple factors.

  25. I will be retiring from the military in June and just in case I don’t get a job directly after retirement, can I claim unemployment until I am able to get employment? Thank you in advance.

    1. You should be able to claim UI benefits.

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

  26. I am being laid off because my job is moving out of state. I am also eligible to receive a small pension from the company that is laying me off. If I apply to begin receiving pension benefits, and still am able and available for work, can I receive unemployment benefits until I find a new job?

    1. I am guessing you should be able to.

      Please inquire further by calling the Unemployment Office in your state.

  27. I have just separated for active duty military and going into the reserves. Currently I don’t have a Reserve Unit. I plan on going to school. Will I be eligible for unemployment?

    1. Since you said you plan to “go to school”, please call the Unemployment Office to inquire about your eligibility to draw UI.

  28. i lost my job after 25 years because of a health condition–liver cancer and had liver transplant in aug 2015—was unable to work starting in may 2015—am i elgible for unemployment????

    1. Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are not considered. To be eligible, the claimant is required to have active employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

  29. 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.

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

      Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility.

  30. 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?

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

      Please contact the Unemployment Office for further details.

  31. 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?

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

      1. 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?

  32. 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?

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

  33. I WAS AN 1099 INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR FOR THE LAST 12 MONTHS AND I GOT LAID OFF AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR.
    AM I ELIGIBLE TO FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE?

    1. Contractors are generally not eligible to claim unemployment insurance.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to check eligibility.

  34. 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?

    1. 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.

  35. 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?

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

      Please speak to the Unemployment Office.

  36. 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.

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

      Please call the Office to confirm and apply accordingly.

  37. 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.

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

  38. 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

    1. 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.

  39. 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

    1. 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.

  40. 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?

  41. 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?

  42. 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?

    1. 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.

  43. 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?

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

  44. 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!

    1. 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.

  45. 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?

  46. 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.

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

  47. 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.

    1. 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.

  48. 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.

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

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