Florida Unemployment Job Search Requirements
What Is the Florida Unemployment Work Search Requirement?
Florida residents who are claiming Reemployment Assistance Benefits in Florida must engage in a weekly work search while they are collecting payments. This includes claimants who are furloughed, disabled, pregnant, and self-employed.
In some states, benefit recipients are required to report job search details only if requested. But the rules for collecting unemployment are a little more strict in Florida. That’s because Florida requires benefit recipients to report detailed information about their work search each time they file their bi-weekly claim.
The work search requirement involves applying for 5 jobs every week, and 3 per week if you live in a small county with a population of less than 75,000 residents (with fewer people, there are fewer job opportunities).
Remember that filing for unemployment in Florida is a biweekly process, so you will actually be reporting 6 to 10 job applications per claim, and not just 3 to 5. If you want to know what that biweekly filing will translate to in terms of a weekly benefit payment, see the Florida unemployment calculator.
Approved Florida work search activities include submitting online job applications, mail in applications, applying in person, attending a job interview, or visiting a local CareerSource Center. Anyone who registered to collect unemployment assistance after May 29th, 2021, must also do a work registration on EmployFlorida.com.
Florida Unemployment Work Registration Requirement
EmployFlorida can help you browse the job market, research new careers, and qualifications, and see how much those jobs pay. Uploading your resume also allows potential employers to see you and your resume in the pool of potential talent. Once you register, you’ll get a personalized folder with saved searches and career assessment tools that can match your skills and qualifications to specific opportunities. You can create customized resumes and cover letters as well.
All you need to get started is a valid email address, your Social Security number, and an ID like a driver’s license, state ID, or voter registration. You will also need to input some information like the names and contact info of all your employers during the last 18 months, as well as the dates you worked and your total earnings at each workplace.
Registering with EmployFlorida is not optional, as it is in some states and their respective job sites. In Florida, you will need to register on EmployFlorida in order to access the CONNECT system and apply for Florida unemployment benefits.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must also look for suitable work to get your weekly unemployment compensation payments. And you will need to provide some personal information to get registered in the talent pool of job seekers that is EmployFlorida. Florida law requests your alien registration number and work permit expiration date.
If you are a job seeker who served in the military within the past two years, you will need Form DD-214 to sign up and collect unemployment insurance.
If you are a government employee who has been fired or laid off, in order to get the weekly pay of your unemployment insurance benefits, you will need to submit Form SF-50 or form SF-8 and proof of earnings, which you can show with check stubs or a W-2.
Florida Work Search Exemptions
There are some exceptions to the Florida work search requirements to seek out a new job contact. If you are a member of a union in good standing and maintain daily contact with your union, you are exempt.
If you live in a county with less than 75,000 people, you only need to apply for 3 jobs per week instead of 5.
You are exempt from the work search requirements if you were furloughed or released on a temporary layoff with a promise of a return to work in 8 weeks, or if you have already secured new employment and will start within 6 weeks.
The same is true if you are enrolled in a vocational rehabilitation or training program approved by your local CareerSource Florida Center. If you have jury duty for the majority of a given week, you do not have to conduct a work search. Call 1-833-352-7759 and speak to someone if you are still being requested to show proof of a job search for benefits.
What Is a Valid Work Search?
Here are some examples of a valid work search:
- Submitting an application or a resume to a potential employer
- Applying through the EmployFlorida website
- Attending a job fair
- Applying in person or interviewing
- Participating in a career service session at a local CareerSource Florida Center
- Creating a personal profile on a networking site like Indeed or LinkedIn
Attending a training
- Attending a resume writing seminar
These are just a few of the activities that can count toward your work search requirements.
Please note: Claimants in search of their next economic opportunity cannot meet the requirements for collecting Florida Reemployment Assistance by repeatedly applying for the same job.
Information Required for the Florida Work Search
You will need to report details of your work search when you try to collect benefits on CONNECT. You will need to provide the dates you contact the potential employer, submitted your application, or conducted the approved work search activity.
You will also be asked to elaborate on your method of contact. For instance, if you applied in person, you will need to provide the business name, address, and phone number. Or, if you applied online, the business website address. If you applied via email, you will need to send a copy of that email.
You will need to specify what type of work you are seeking and summarize the outcome of the job search activity. When you are on the CONNECT system for your biweekly visit, you will eventually be guided to a page requesting details for your work search. You cannot move forward in the process of collecting benefits until this information is completed.
Refusing a Job Offer
You are not required to take any job that comes your way, but there are certain circumstances in which you will be required to take a job or forfeit your Florida unemployment.
Jobs that require a material change in occupation for the claimant are not required to be taken. For example, if your previous work experience was as a bank teller, you do not need to take a construction job (and vice versa). However, if you find work that reasonably falls within your skill sets within the first 60 days you collect benefits, if the job pays at least 90% of your previous salary from your base period, you must take it.
After you’ve collected 25 weeks of unemployment, any suitable job that pays minimum wage ($11 in Florida) and is 120% or more of your weekly benefit amount, is a job that you must take. However, you will never be required to take any job that comprises your health or your morality.
Florida Unemployment Job Training
A statewide network of local One-Stop Career Centers offers job training and employment services to link Florida’s job seekers and employers. These career centers offer:
Priority Reemployment Planning Program
The Priority Reemployment Planning (PREP) program provides reemployment services to RA claimants who are profiled as unlikely to return to their previous jobs or occupations and are given assistance early in their claims series.
- Job search for counseling
- Testing and assessment
- Occupational and labor market information
- Job search workshops
- Referral to potential employers
- Job Training Assistance
Visit the One-Stop Career Center nearest you. Details about Career Center locations is obtainable on the Internet.
You are not registered for work if you are:
- not presently residing in Florida,
- on a temporary layoff of not more than 8 weeks,
- a union member who usually obtains work through a union hiring hall, or
- a member in an approved Short-time Compensation plan.
Disaster Relief Jobs in Florida
If you’re looking for employment and a way to help hurricane victims in Florida, many opportunities are available in storm-damaged areas across the state.
The SBA has listed several jobs to provide disaster relief to Floridians.
Current job listings include:
- Legal Review/Loan Closings
- Disaster verification
- Customer service
- Disaster Recovery Specialist (DRS)
- IT support
- Program support
- Public affairs
If you live in Florida or are willing to travel there, and you have skills that fit disaster recovery needs, you’ll find no shortage of available jobs. And if you’ve previously been employed in sectors such as leisure, tourism, retail, and hospitality, you may be able to take this opportunity to make a job change – at least until those industries recover across the state.
Many emergency management positions are available in areas of Florida hit hardest by Hurricane Ian. Positions range from disaster debris monitors and members of cleanup crews to opportunities at disaster relief shelters. In addition, if you have insurance experience, there currently exist many opportunities to serve as appraisers, field adjusters, and claims processors. Crisis counselors, emergency services coordinators, and telephone operators also remain in short supply, so workers with those skill sets are sorely needed.
Perhaps most notably, over the long term, those with construction skills and experience will be needed to help the state repair and rebuild the many structures damaged in the wake of the storm. Before Hurricane Ian made landfall, Florida already struggled in many areas to fill skilled construction roles. The damage wrought by the storm makes it likely that demand for skilled construction workers will only increase over the coming months – and even years. Along the same lines, roles for engineers may increase with the need to repair and replace bridges and other infrastructure damaged by the storm.
In addition, if you are a small business owner in Florida who has been impacted by Hurricane Ian or another natural disaster, the U.S. Small Business Association makes available disaster loans that can help keep your business afloat and ensure that it not only recovers but thrives. Options include everything from physical damage loans and mitigation assistance to economic injury assistance loans.