You may be eligible for unemployment benefits when you lived and worked in Florida for more than a year and are now out of work. However, you need to understand how the unemployment benefits process works, which documents you must submit, and how to follow up on your application.
The federal government’s policy is to work with the state of Florida to aid workers who have lost their jobs due to reasons beyond their control.
There is a program funded by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) called the Florida Reemployment Assistance (Insurance) Program that assists residents in meeting their financial needs while looking for jobs.
While it is a temporary arrangement that can last up to 12 weeks, it does assist struggling individuals and families by ensuring a continuation of some income. At the same time, they search for other employment opportunities.
As with all other states, Florida has a standard application procedure. Below, you will find an overview of the requirements and qualifications and instructions on submitting and following up on your application for unemployment insurance (UI) in Florida.
In Florida, who is eligible for unemployment benefits?
It is stated on the official website of the Florida Reemployment Assistance (Insurance) Program that to apply for unemployment insurance, a person must:
- Working in Florida for the past 12 months (at least) is a requirement.
- You must be unemployed at the moment, either entirely or partially.
- You will have to earn a minimum wage (as determined by Florida law) during the base period.
- As long as you receive benefits, it would help if you actively looked for work.
- It is essential to be able to work.
All applicants must submit the necessary documentation and employment information to qualify for the program, although these are just the basic requirements.
How do I claim unemployment benefits in Florida?
You will be able to prove your eligibility for the program by providing the following documents:
- Personal info like your name, date of birth, level of education, gender, and race.
- The number associated with your Social Security card.
- Florida ID and license numbers.
Also, non-US citizens need the following:
- Number of alien registration
- Authorization to work
Those in the military need:
- Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214)
Union members should provide the following information:
- Name of the union
- The number of hall
- The number of the phone
Employees of the federal government are required to present the following documents:
- SF8 or SF50
All claimants must also provide information on their last 18 months of employment, including:
- Addresses and phone numbers of employers.
- First and final day of work.
- Earnings (before taxes).
- Cause of job loss.
- Federal Employer Identification Number.
- Employer details on paystub if no FEIN.
Having your documents ready is the next step. You can start the application process and submit some documents later. But it is best to have everything in one place.
Florida unemployment benefits application
You must apply for unemployment benefits within a week of your unemployment or partial layoff.
Florida allows you to submit claims online. You will need to create an account before you can submit a claim.
Nevertheless, if you are disabled, illiterate, or have difficulty understanding English, you may wish to contact the agency to speak with a representative. The number for this agency is 800-681-8102.
To make the state’s website accessible to most residents, it has developed a mobile-friendly version. It can take up to an hour to complete the application. If you run into an interruption, you can save your progress and continue it later. It would help to keep your pin and social security number handy whenever you log in.
You must go to CONNECT, Florida’s Unemployment Insurance system, to file a claim. Fill in your information and ensure you supply each required piece during the process.
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You should click submit when you have sufficiently filled out the claim application.
Here’s an example of someone who qualifies for unemployment benefits.
Jake had been working as a hotel concierge in Florida for three years, but he lost his job in May 2021 due to staff reductions in response to the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was Jake’s first time applying for unemployment benefits. However, he was thrilled when he logged into the site and noticed that he had met the basic requirements. And he was thrilled when the DEO approved his application.
The lesson learned here is that you will only know if you qualify for benefits if you file a claim.
How do I proceed after applying for UI in Florida?
It is now up to the department to review the information you sent and determine if you qualify.
During this time, you should log into your account regularly to check the status of your claim. See if you have been asked for more information or documents by the agency. If they have, provide them as soon as possible.
The next step is registering with the state’s workforce agency (Employ Florida Marketplace) and ensuring you actively seek employment to qualify for benefits.
If you believe that the DEO has rejected your claim unfairly and would like to appeal the decision, you must do so within 20 days of receiving the notice that the DEO has denied your claim.
You will receive payments a week after your claim has been approved if your claim goes through and you are approved for benefits. It would help if you remembered that these are not automatic payments. Each week, you have to log in and request benefits. Each time you request a payout, you must complete a short survey to determine if you still qualify.
Can I receive a weekly unemployment benefit?
Despite being one of the lowest weekly unemployment benefits in the country, Florida’s Unemployment Insurance program provides one of the minimum weekly benefit amounts. Each week, the state provides a minimum of $32 and a maximum of $275. Although the maximum weekly benefit amount is small, every little bit helps when you are out of work.
It is important to remember that unemployment benefits are not intended to replace all of your lost income. They are designed to provide a short-term solution to help keep you afloat until you find a new job, while it takes time to find one.
If approved, you will receive a maximum of 12 weeks of unemployment benefits in a year or $3,300 (whichever expires first). Once that happens, the benefits stop. If you find yourself unemployed again during the year, you can use up all of your yearly benefits at once or save a portion in case you fall back into unemployment again.
If you get a job, the benefits will also stop. However, if you find a part-time job that pays less than $275 a week, you will still be able to apply for the benefits.
As a result, you must meet the ongoing eligibility requirements to ensure your benefits are not terminated.
Whenever there is an extension of benefits or a change in eligibility requirements, the department will inform you of it.
How unemployment benefits can help you
Even though everyone does not like the idea of applying for unemployment, it is a very welcome solution for many people. It gives you peace of mind knowing that you can afford food while looking for work. And you also have more time to concentrate on finding a job.
You can apply online for unemployment benefits if you are unemployed or furloughed and believe you are entitled to them. It takes only a few minutes and can help you stay afloat until you can find a new job.