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

    1. Frank,

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

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

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

    1. James,

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

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

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

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

    1. Tess,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Louise,

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

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

    1. Rick,

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

    1. Jack,

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

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

      1. Hi Jack,

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

        1. Cristina,

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

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