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. 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?

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

    1. Teri,

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

    1. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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?

  6. 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

  7. 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?

    1. Rebecca,

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

      Hope your parents get well soon.

      1. 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

        1. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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

    1. 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.

  10. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  11. 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?

    1. Serenity,

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

  12. 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,

    1. Lee,

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

  13. 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

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


    1. Deann,

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

  15. 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.

    1. 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.

  16. 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?

    1. 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.

  17. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  18. 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

    1. 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.

  19. 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?

    1. Hello,

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

      Wishing your husband a speedy recovery.

      1. 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.

        1. Hello,

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

  20. 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?

  21. 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?

    1. 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.

  22. 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?

    1. Shirley,

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

    2. 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.

  23. 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

    1. 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.

  24. 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?

    1. 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.

  25. 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?

    1. 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.

  26. 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.

    1. 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.

  27. 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?

    1. Jackie,

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

  28. 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?

    1. Elizabeth,

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

  29. Hi I am working in a store that my boss since the begining didn’t like me and he is the type of manager that just makes your life miserable until you leave that’s what they do with all the employees there but he keeps giving me write ups for things that arent true so I just feel like he just wants to get rid of me and he wants me to quit but am scared that if I do I won’t get unemployment cause I live in Miami and since he has all those documents then he’s just gonna use that against me please advise me on this

    1. Claudia,

      Try to escalate within your organization. Please speak to the HR department. You can be eligible to quit under hostile working conditions and claim. However, it can go against you when you don’t have proof.

  30. I am working for 13 yrs. in the same company, until I had an accident in my job, in June 2017. The WorkerComp actually took me out schedule and they going to give me 2/3 of my salary, then my normal salary is not big, and I will be short in pay my needs.Can I apply for Unemployement.

    1. Nestor,

      Are you able and available for work now? If yes, please contact the Unemployment Office to determine eligibility.

  31. I have worked for this company for almost 4 years. 3 and half in Wisconsin and the last 5 months in Florida. When I moved I have been struggling with how they do things here and I have been treated not so hot. They keep moving me from area to area. If I quit do to conditions/behavior will I be able to clam unemployment?

    1. Danielle,

      Please tread carefully. If you quit voluntarily, you will not qualify. At the same time, if you feel the conditions at work are hostile, you can quit and claim UI benefits. Please make sure to keep supporting documents handy.

  32. my sister was terminated since she was able to work after 2 shoulder surgeries. she was with the company for 20 plus years, her long tedrm disability ran out, will she qualify for unemployment?

  33. I was laid off 12/22/17 receiving my last check 1/5/2018 In the meantime
    I have not applied for unemployment as I need the information from my last check
    I was offered a position thru staffing agency but the job is 54 miles each way
    and no benefits vacation etc. no raises etc. My vehicle is old and needs a lot
    of work that’s approx. 540 miles a week. If I do not accept this position can
    I lose my unemployment benefits ?????

    1. Gerard,

      Its highly unlikely that you will not qualify. Please call the Unemployment Office before making a decision.

  34. I have been working for a company for 6 months. I got hurt and requirered surgery. After a week off resting from surgery, I was released back to work light duty,and was laid-off.I’m still on Workers compensation, can I still apply now for unemployment or do I have to want till I’m off Workers compensation. Thank you..

    1. Dan,

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

  35. Hello,

    I would like to know if I qualify for unemployment. I was on leave of absence because my husband is military and I was moving back home to Florida. He was suppose to come with me but plans change as it can in the military so my leave is up. And my job forced me to quit because they cannot extend my leave even though my husband is military and is in California and I am in Florida and don’t know when he will be back home.

    1. Katriana,

      You may or may not qualify. Since you’re a military spouse, please contact the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm if you’re eligible.

  36. I am 80 years old. I was working full time 40+ hours a week and I draw Social Security. I am dependent on my job and the hours. My employer recently cut my hours back to 25 a week. I am sure they want to let me go or lay me off due to my age. I’ve worked their for 15 years. Can I collect unemployment.

  37. I worked for this company for 16 years changed from full time to part time in April of 2016 got lay off due to not enough work. I was a payroll representative working from 24 to 26 hours weekly.
    Want to know if I’m eligible for unemployment benefits.

    1. Zaida,

      I am guessing you should be eligible. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website or call the Unemployment Office to confirm.

  38. My son started his first job about a month ago for a fast-food chain. He was given feedback by his manager that he wasn’t performing a specific task quick enough (which my son believes the expectation is close or near to impossible). After this convo, my son reported to work the next day and was told by the manager (that my son quit) even though he had not expressed this. I don’t believe my son will be eligible for UE benefits as he was working partime for less than 2 months, please advise??

    1. Unfortunately, voluntary reasons are not considered. Your son may not qualify. Please ask him to clarify by calling the Unemployment Office.

  39. Good afternoon,
    My husband and I just moved from Florida to New Mexico for a new job. I too was employed in Florida until last week, due to the move I had to leave my job. Can I claim unemployment until 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.

  40. My company will be doing a layoff in December for 4 weeks. Some employees will work the entire time. Some will work certain weeks. What is the requirements for the people working certain weeks, especially if they are not consecutive. Or if they work a partial week. Is there a waiting period?

    1. Kellie,

      I am not sure if an employed worker can be eligible for temporary time off work. Please probe with your employer or call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  41. I applied for unemployment due to I was forced to quit my job after becoming pregnant and had bad morning sickness after going to HR to see what I can do they gave me 1 mth leave of absence but when it ended i went back to work and was still sick and talk to HR again about a extension or FMLA but was denied so I was forced to quit will my unemployment be approve?

    1. Latasha,

      I am not sure if you can be eligible under such circumstances. Please call the state Unemployment Office for clarification.

      1. Im eligible for the benefits but I have a adjudication in process its under investigation now. How long do it take It state no action is required of me.

        1. Latasha,

          You should find paperwork pertaining to the adjudication process on the official website of the Unemployment Office. If there is a delay, please make sure to chase your contact at regular intervals.

  42. I work for a church with less than 50 employees. I was laid off due to the budget. Am I eligible for unemployment compensation? I’ve been employed there for 20 years.

    1. Roger,

      Church employees are generally not eligible to claim UI benefits. Please check with your employer or call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  43. I was injured in a car accident (other driver’s fault) and am not able to work at my job (landscaping). It may be several months before I can work if they determine I need surgery. Am I eligible for any benefits?

    Thank you,

    Warren Blackburn

    1. Warren,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. UI benefits are only extended to those who’re able and available for work.

      Hope you get well soon!

  44. I was put on a performance improvement plan and it was extended for a month and a half because they didn’t have anyone to replace me. I signed papers because they threatened me that no one could do anything for me. I even went to Human Resources with proof and documentation that they were wrong. They finally fired me. Can I collect unemployment?

    1. My Dad is a 76 year old man that is currently unable to work due to surgery; is he eligible for unemployment benefits? he has been continuously employed for the past 5 years.

      1. Keith,

        Your father may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered.

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