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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. I recently got laid off due to a reduction in workforce. I am currently receiving a severance package which includes compensation. Does this make me ineligible for unemployment?

  2. I am currently 4 months pregnant, the job im on is very physically demanding,plus I have a 4 year old no daycare, and an 87 yr old grandmother that requires signifigant care. 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.

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered.

  3. I am affected by a reduction in force starting 3/13/2015. On 3/15/2015 i will be moving to South Carolina. Where should i file for Unemployment Florida or South Carolina? I have worked in Folirda for the same company for the past 3 years.

  4. I am currently working for a contractor for a big company as a computer programmer for 40 hours a week (full-time). we were told today that the big company is letting us go due to budget constraints and my last day is tomorrow. I was employed with the contracting agency doing work for the big company that we were contracted to for 6 months. Question #1 – am I eligible for benefits? question #2 – If I work 10 hours a week for another company as a consultant am I eligible for benefits because of losing my main position with the big company?

    • Generally,some types of contractual employment do not qualify.Please call the customer service of the labor dept in your state to get further advice on this.

  5. I have worked for a company only2 months and they just announce they are closing the store Am I eligible for benefits

  6. I was let go from my position because I was working in a hostile work environment being intimidated and bullied by my supervisor I am assuming due to my age. She gave me very bad evaluations on my work performance which was all fabrication on her part. I have filed numerous grievances with the H.R. Dept. on the supervisor and they all agreed with the supervisor. I was left to continue to work in the hostile work environment. Would I be eligible for unemployment

    • You can definitely consider applying for UI benefits in your state.

      If there is a dispute,you must be able to prove.

  7. My employment is closing for 2 weeks and is not paying us. Are we eligible for unemployment for the 2 weeks that we are closed?

    • The only base period Florida uses is the first 4 quarters of the last 5 quarters worked. Not sure if they follow the concept of alternate base period.

      Please call the customer service of the labor dept for more information.

  8. I was suspended due to what they called an safety concern. I accidently hit another forklift and they suspended me for 5 days then terminated my employment stating it was a safety concern. I don’t agree with it and I can’t afford an attorney to fight it. Will I be eligiable for unemployment after being employed for over a year?

  9. Can you file for unemployment if you was on federal workers compensation and release and are still disable and can not work

    • I assume you were drawing benefits from Workers comp as you were unable to work due to a health condition.

      UI is only provided to those who are fit to work but are out of work.

  10. If was terminated before the end of my 90 day probationary period due to not having the required skills to perform the job properly, am I eligble for benefits

  11. If I quit my job because the work atmosphere between employees and even the manager was so tense it was causing me to be psychically ill, would i be eligible for benefits?

  12. I currently have two semesters in School remaining before my Bachelors. I am a Math Education Major and my main courses are offered in the fall. I have 17 credits remaining and I have to take then in order to student teach in the spring semester. I won’t be able to maintain a full time job throughout the two semesters because I will be attending school full time; however, I will be working part time at the University as a student assistance. I am currently employed as a Customer Service Supervisor and I have been employed for 5 years and 4 months. Would I still be eligible If I resign when the fall semester starts?

    • If you’re schooling full time,you may not be eligible for UI benefits.

      Please check with the labor dept in your state.

  13. I am leaving the military soon and plan to go to school (maybe part time) and work too. It says here if you are in school that you cannot get benefits? How and why is that? If I’m unemployed and need to work too as well as school (parents not gonna help me as Im way too old and they’re broke in their 60s still working). How am I not unemployed just because I’m trying to further myself ON TOP of working?

    • First of all, military men have special rules when it comes to applying for UI. Please check with the labor dept in your state.

      Secondly,some types of schooling are exceptional.

  14. My employer just took away my full time hours and changed me to 25 hr week and took away my benefits after 16 years. If i quit am i eligible for unemployment

  15. I was fired from my job of 15+ years and told I had a bad attitude Will that keep me from getting Benefits?

  16. Several people including myself were given RIF notices, due to the lack of contracts. We were given a 30 day notice that takes us out to the 31 of this month, which is our projected last day. Can we file prior to being released or is there a way to register for assistance (without receiving it of course until we are no longer gainfully employed)?

  17. I have worked at the same place for 20 years. I fell at home and broke my wrist in April that required surgery to repair. my employer told me I could not come back to work until it was completely healed and had a doctor’s release. 7 weeks later it was healed and I was released for work. My employer hired another assistant and now will only allow me to work maybe 15 to 20 hours per week. If I quit would I be eleigoble for UI benefits in Florida?

  18. I moved to Florida from California in 2013 and worked contract jobs from June 2013 to the end of March 2014. The last contract job was from Nov 2013 to the end of March 2014 at which time the company I was contracting at hired me on a perm basis. I was let go today and was given a choice. I could either resign or be terminated for performance issues. For further job prospects I would rather resign due to unhappiness with the job (which is correct). Which would be better to be eligible for benefits?

  19. I am currently employed and make 10.57 a hour and work 80 hrs a week I want to go back to school in august but the schedule calls for mon thru fri from 7am to 1pm I cant afford to lose any hours at work can I file for unemployment for the hours I will be losing at work to enroll in school I have been in my job for 1yr and 2 months

    • You may not qualify as certain level of schooling may be a barrier. Please check with the labor dept in your state.

  20. I was suffering heart palpilations – anxiety – and emotional issues during regular work hours in direct relations to me employment- I requested workmens comp info ,, to seek a evaluation – I was not given the info -I had to leave my workshift because of the circumstances I asked 3 times in person ,, still not given info , I e-mailed company and still not given info until 10 days later , I know have a wc attorney ,, do I qualify 4 uc benfits ???

  21. I quit my job in lieu of termination due to me having to take time off to care for my sick daughter. Would I be eligible for UI compensation while searching for a new job?

  22. I worked in an Assistant Living Facility, yesterday a nurse came and say a resident who we care has shingles. My supervisor try me to assistant a resident who has shingles without the protection you have to used in this case, the most important thing wen you assistant somebody is be safe for your self and everybody else, I have 2 children at home, I don’t want to get sick for something like that. So I live out

  23. I relocated to MA after 8 years of employment in FL. My live in boyfriend of 5 years received a promotion in MA, and the only option was to relocate with him. I applied for unemployment in FL, but was denied. I have an appeal scheduled, is relocating for a significant other’s promotion enough of a reasonable cause or am I wasting my time?

    • Yes it may be. They would have specified the reason for denial of benefits.

      Involuntary unemployment is not a qualifier.

  24. I am claiming unemployment because I have been laid off due to lack of census where I worked.

  25. Would monthly distributions from a 401K (72T) affect the amount of unemployment benefits in Florida?

    • It may.Some states consider this as an active income.

      Please check with the labor dept in your state.

  26. Can you receive compensation if you are medically suspended, not fired? Medical follow up done at their request but still been out of work waiting on them to reply. Its been 2 months.

    • This is very specific. Please contact the customer service of the labor dept in your state.

  27. I have a question: I work for a school district and have been injured on the job. I have worked for 25 years during the summer but due to an injury on the job, I am only permitted to work until the end of my contract and cannot pick up working summer school because the doctor has me on restricted duty. I wanted to know if I can apply for unemployment during the summer months that I am not working. So far, I was told that I will have my position back for the next school year.
    Thanking you in advance for your assistance and time.
    Sincerely CB

  28. I have had no response or unemployment benefits received, I need help with this problem and want to talk with a representative to get answers.

  29. I live in Florida and I was denied benefits for one reason (good cause) .. I have worked all my life and one job back in 2012 just didn’t work for me .. I began serving at a restaurant and found out that I was not going to be able to make enough money to support my family .. I decided to find other employment .. I worked for this restaurant for 3-4 weeks until finding other more suitable employment .. I voluntarily quit this job and went to work for another place of employment .. I remained employed with them until January 24 2014 .. I was fired from this job and was found eligible to receive benefits .. I got a paper in the mail said benefits would be denied because I quit a job and I couldn’t do that, I quit that job back in 2012 and still remained employed after leaving that restaurant .. I made enough credits and worked the correct amount .. I had my Appeal hearing and I received my letter today and was denied benefits due to me leaving a job back in 2012 .. It’s not like I stayed unemployed after quitting that restaurant back in2012 I went right back to work .. I’m looking to file another appeal against my determination that my referee made against me.. Should I go ahead with it? Do I have a case?? I

  30. Was let go from job, Dec 2012 and received severance for 66 weeks which ended March 2014. When answering the question on the application was I employed in 2103 do I reply no? I was still getting paid from my company but did not actually work so not sure how so answer.

    • Please check with the customer service of the labor in your state. Their perception may affect the benefits disbursed.

  31. my company can not pay me on time, sometimes up to 10 days late, am I eligible to file for unemployment and would I have to eventually quit do to me filing? They currently can not make payroll.

  32. Is there a letter stating your eligibility for unemployment benefits that accompanies the Wage Transcript and Determination?

  33. I’m a prep cook at a fine dining restaurant but I feel like I’m being abused because every time I go to work I have to pick up other peoples assignments that weren’t completed on top of my own assignment. And the staff also be fighting on the job. If I wanted to quit this job and look for another job will I be able to qualify for unemployment?

  34. I was hurt on a job site in 06, had surgery in 07, have restriction and haven’t beenable to find employment since. I have to put my restriction on all applcations because if somthing should happen I don’t want to be accused of lieing on the apps. Am I eligible to receive unemployment.

    • If you are available to work and are willing to accept a suitable job offer,please consider applying for UI benefits in your state.

  35. Good Morning. I have been a housekeeper for a non-profit for 20 years. They are talking to me about being laid off because I can no longer keep up with the expectations of the job description. I am capable of doing other kinds of work, and I am attending school to be able to do so. Will I be eligible for unemployment if this takes place. Please let me know. Thank you for your time. :)

    • I hope you earned monetary compensation from the job that you worked for.Remember, you must be actively looking for a job and make relevant searches.

      If so, please consider applying for UI benefits until you find a job. Best wishes!

  36. I have been at my job for 8 years steady. I may have to go for shoulder surgery and be off work for an extended period for rehab. will I be eligible for benefits

    • I have been employed in my job for 5+ Years. I’m suppose to have surgery in my knee, witch will keep me out for about six months. Should I be eligible for unemployment ?

      • UI benefits are only extended to those who are available and are able to work.
        Since you will be out of work due to a surgery,I doubt. Explore other benefits in your state that suit your situation.

  37. I didnt work during the period of 10/12-9/13, but accordingly to my information with UC, there is still money available for me to utilize. I went back to work on 10/2014 and was just laid off on 2/19/. Am I able to receive benefits for the time I worked

  38. Good morning,
    I was laid off 4 months ago. The company I worked for 8 years is a non-profit organization, therefore they don’t have unemployment insurance benefits. Can I still apply for unemployment insurance benefits? Please be kind enough to advise. Sincerely, REbeca Eshkenazi

    • I guess they must have an exception for such situations where the employer does not pay into the state.Please speak to a representative from the claims center in Florida for further advice on this.

  39. A friend of mine was laid off in September. She received a severance
    lump sum payment from her former company. Is she eligible for unemployment compensation? She had worked full time for the company for 20 years.

    • If your friend is no longer receiving severance or any other form of payment from the last employer,please be advised that she should be eligible to receive UI benefits from the state.

  40. Worked for 33 years with same company they notified all employees that need to cut 1200 jobs by end of November 2013 & they offer early retirement I took the
    package but cannot find a job. do I qualified for unemployment Benefits.

  41. I travel for a company. Travel is required to get my job done. My employer has stopped paying or is paying late our expense reinbursements also our 401K contributions have not been made (not match – self directed). Do I have any rights?

  42. I was fired from my job but I have a real estate license.I have no business right now and I have nothing pending .Can I still file

  43. I was hit by a big top loader at the port of Miami I was out for a year and a few months the company asked at settltment to not seek employment for six months I did not agree they took exactly six months to get my check after agreeing on the terms of settlement when I went back to work they told me that my job was given to someone else I am a unuon man and the union told me the I would be the next on the list it has been six months and I am waiting am I elegeble for unemployment I never even gave it a thought until today could I applied I was paid workmans comp is that consider wages I am out of money and no work yet

  44. I have a signed contract to be paid a salary based on a 50 hour week. I am now expected to work 60-67 hours a week at the same salary. I have brought the matter up with my boss and his boss but they said I have to work the additional hours. Can I quit and collect unemployment benefits while looking for a new job?

  45. I work for a company out of Florida,I went to my annual DOT physical but I didn’t pass because of my heart condition having AFIB and was disqualified from my I in title to receive unemployment? confused in Texas

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