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
Are you willing and able to work?
How did you lose your previous job?
Have you been affected by coronavirus?
Were you offered telework with pay by your employer?
Were you fired for no fault of your own?
Did you quit your last job due to unsafe working conditions, not being paid, discrimination and / or health and safety risks?
Do you have paid medical leave?
Do you have a family member you are caring for?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
Do you have paid family leave?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
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.
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.
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:
- You were discharged (fired), you quit, or you are on a suspension or leave of absence from your last employer or other recent employers.
- You are a school employee and you are not working because you are between terms or on a vacation or holiday.
- 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..
- You are currently attending school or training.
- You are currently self-employed.
- You are obtaining payments of some kind from a recent employer.
- You refused a suitable job offer or you refused a referral from the One-Stop Career Center to a suitable job.
- You failed to participate in Reemployment Services scheduled at the One-Stop Career Center.
- 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.
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.
- 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,
- 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