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Unemployment Insurance In Florida

Florida residents run into problems filing for unemployment as nationwide claims rise
See also: Unemployment insurance in the states

Unemployment insurance is a term that refers to a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

Although the word insurance is in the term, a few key differences distinguish unemployment insurance from private insurance plans such as home insurance, car insurance, or health insurance. In most states, employersrather than individuals themselvespay unemployment taxes that fund state unemployment insurance programs. When an individual loses their employment , state-administered unemployment insurance programs provide temporary monetary benefits to the former employee. Unemployment insurance compensation is not intended to replace lost wages it is designed to replace a portion of the individual’s lost wages with the goal of providing financial support as an individual searches for a new job.

This page provides information about the unemployment insurance program in Florida.

Information Needed Is As Follows:

  • Information needed is as follows:
  • Your Social Security Number
  • The year you were born
  • Your home address and telephone number
  • Whether you have filed an unemployment insurance claim in your state or in any other state during the past 12 months
  • Your last day of employment
  • The names and addresses of all of the employers you have worked for during the 15 months prior to filing your claim and the dates you worked for each of these employers. If you are reopening a claim, be ready with the same information for the past 8 weeks
  • The reason that you are no longer working or that your hours have been reduced The names, dates of birth and social security numbers for any dependent children if you are going to apply for dependency allowance
  • Form no. SF 8 or SF 50 if you were a federal employee
  • Federal Employee Identification Number this is found on any W2 or 1099 tax forms you have received
  • In case you dont have the FEIN, you can use employer details off of a recent paystub
  • If you were military personnel, from DD-214 must be produced. Note that only member copies 2-8 of DD-214 are acceptable.
  • Your alien registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen

If You Are Not a United States Citizen

You must give verification that you were legally eligible to work in your state and that you are presently eligible to begin a new job.

Want to know about how much you will receive?? > Calculate your benefits here

Unemployment Rates Rise In North Central Florida Still At Historic Lows

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Historically low unemployment rates in Florida are starting to tick up according to data from October released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The state unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in October which is a full percentage point lower than the national unemployment rate. In Florida, unemployment rose by 0.2 percentage points from September.

The governors office attributes the rise in unemployment to the impacts of Hurricane Ian in Southwest Florida, however, North Central Florida counties experienced a similar increase in unemployment rates despite suffering little damage from the storm.

The largest increase in unemployment in the region was Alachua County with a 0.2 percentage point increase. However, Alachua County maintains the lowest overall unemployment rate in the region at 2.6 percent.

The rates in Bradford and Levy counties remained the same from September to October.


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Floridas unemployment rates rose in October, however, the labor force also grew by 36,000 and Floridas private sector added 35,000 jobs. Southwest Florida was hit hard by Hurricane Ian causing the unemployment rate in the Fort Myers area to reach 3.9 percent, up 0.5 points

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I Am An Independent Contractor Am I Eligible For Unemployment Benefits Under The Cares Act

You may be eligible for unemployment benefits, depending on your personal circumstances and how your state chooses to implement the CARES Act. States are permitted to provide Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation. To qualify for PUA benefits, you must not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits and be unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of certain health or economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits, which are available retroactively starting with weeks of unemployment beginning on or after January 27, 2020, and ending on or before December 31, 2020. The amount of benefits paid out will vary by state and are calculated based on the weekly benefit amounts provided under a states unemployment insurance laws. Under the CARES Act, the WBA may be supplemented by the additional unemployment assistance provided under the Act.

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Can Furloughed Workers Receive Unemployment Benefits

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Yes. Furloughed workers those put on mandatory unpaid leave â are encouraged to apply for Florida unemployment benefits. If your hours were reduced or you were put on a zero-hour schedule, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Even if your employer says you wonât qualify, you should apply anyways. Eligibility is based on your earnings in a prior week, not the number of hours you worked. Once you apply for benefits, the Reemployment Assistance team will review your information and determine your eligibility.

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How Do I File A Complaint With The Florida Department Of Labor

It is the Department of Labor s duty to improve employees working conditions, advance their opportunities for profitable employment, protect their retirement and health care, strengthen free collective bargaining, and track changes in employment. The DOL does this for every state, including the Florida Department of Labor. In doing so, the DOL oversees a variety of Federal labor laws, including the right to safe working conditions, minimum hourly wages, overtime pay, freedom from discrimination, insurance for unemployment, and other income support. If any of your rights were violated in the state of Florida, then you should file a complaint with the Florida Department of Labor.

Florida Unemployment Benefits Eligibility

To qualify for Florida unemployment benefits, you must meet several criteria:

  • You must have lost your job through no fault of your own. You wonât qualify if you quit for personal reasons or were terminated for malicious misconduct. Poor job performance does not disqualify you.
  • You must be totally or partially unemployed. Partially unemployed means your hours were reduced or youâre a part-time worker who canât find additional work.
  • You must have earned at least $3,400 before taxes in what is called the “base period,” which is the first four complete quarters beginning 18 months prior to your claim.
  • You must be able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work. This includes being able to get to a job and have child care if necessary.

The best way to find out if you are eligible is to apply online. If you need help applying or determining your eligibility, contact your local CareerSource Florida center.

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File Your Florida Unemployment Claim

Within one week of becoming unemployed, you should begin the claims process to receive your Reemployment Assistance benefits. The date your application is finished determines when you will begin receiving benefits. Claims always begin with the Sunday prior to the completion of the application. For example, an application completed on Wednesday will take effect on the Sunday before that Wednesday.

All claims in Florida must be completed online. The process should take approximately 30-60 minutes to complete.

Those who need assistance because of disabilities, legal reasons, computer illiteracy or language barriers should call 1-800-681-8102.

Once your claim is filed, you will receive a confirmation notice that your claim has been received. You must request benefit payment no later than seven days from your scheduled report date. If your claim is accepted, it will take two to four weeks to receive your first payment. The week you file your claim is a “waiting week” during which no benefits are paid.

If you do not receive a confirmation notice, call the Claims Assistance Center toll free at 1-800-204-2418.

Timeline Of Unemployment Insurance Program In Florida

More than 120,000 new unemployment filings in Florida

The following timeline features selected key events in the history of Florida’s unemployment insurance program. The timeline is not a comprehensive history of the state unemployment insurance program.

  • 1937: The Florida Unemployment Compensation Act took effect in 1937. The Division of Employment Security within the Department of Commerce administered the program.
  • 1938: A survey of state unemployment insurance laws from May 1938 found that Florida paid a maximum of $15 in benefits per week for no more than 16 weeks.
  • 1971: Florida lawmakers extended unemployment insurance benefits to state and local government workers.
  • 1977: The maximum length of unemployment insurance benefits in Florida had increased to 26 weeks. Changes to the UCA in 1977 further extended unemployment benefits to agricultural laborers, domestic service workers, and nonprofit elementary and secondary schools service providers.
  • 2011: Florida had borrowed more than $2 billion in federal government loans by 2011 to support its bankrupt State Unemployment Trust Fund. Broad unemployment insurance legislation approved that same year indexed unemployment insurance benefits in the state and moved program administration under the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

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How Much Will My Florida Unemployment Benefits Pay

The weekly payment amount you receive during unemployment will vary from person to person. The only way to be sure of your benefit amount is to submit a claim.

The state determines your weekly benefit payments based on your previous earnings during employment. In 2020, you can receive a maximum of $275 per week for 12 weeks. You are entitled to a maximum benefit amount of $3,300.

You will continue to receive Reemployment Assistance weekly for up to 12 weeks. When you secure a job, the payments will stop. However, working part-time or temporarily does not necessarily end the benefits.

How To Apply For Florida Unemployment Benefits

In these doubtful times, being jobless is a fact of life that many people have to bear. In Florida, like the rest of the nation, many people have to file for jobless benefits for the first time in their lives. Fortunately for the recently unemployed of Florida, the process of filing for unemployment benefits is quite easy. However, you can look ahead to wait about 4 weeks until you collect your first check, so you will want to begin the process on your first day of unemployment.

This page has been created as a resource to help you in your filing for Florida unemployment compensation benefits. After reading the following, you will know if you meet the criteria for unemployment benefits, how to apply for benefits, as well as when to expect getting unemployment benefits.

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How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits In Florida

  • If you have been separated from work, you can file your initial claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment.
  • You can file your first claim in one of the two ways: by calling the TeleClaim Center or visiting a One-Stop Career Center close to you. Unluckily, you cannot file an initial claim online at this time.
  • Have your entire information ready before filing your claim.
  • If you have received severance pay upon your separation from work, you may still be eligible for unemployment benefits, so it is still important to call to file your initial claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment.
  • If eligible for unemployment benefits, you can expect to receive your first payment in 3-4 weeks if there are no issues with your claim.
  • In general, it takes approximately 3 weeks to process a claim however, you will still need to claim benefits every week.

Set Up A Personal Identification Number

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When you fill out your application, you need to set up a PIN that you will use to log into the CONNECT system and claim your benefits. A PIN is not provided for you, so you must create one yourself.

Your PIN must be four digits long, and it cannot be:

  • A repeating number
  • Four sequential numbers
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number

Make sure your PIN is easy for you to remember but not easy to guess.

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Are You Available And Actively Searching For Work

To maintain your eligibility for unemployment compensation, you must be able to work, available to accept a job, and looking for work. If you are offered a suitable position, you must accept it. You must also keep a written record of your work search contacts, which the agency may ask you to submit at any time.

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Prepare For Your Claim

To apply for unemployment benefits, you will need:

  • Your Social Security number
  • If you donât have a FEIN, use employer details from paystub

Some workers will need to provide additional information:

  • Non-U.S. citizens must provide their Alien Registration Number or work authorization form
  • Military employees must provide their DD-214 Member copy 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8
  • Federal employees must provide SF 8 or SF 50
  • Union members must provide the unionâs name, hall number and phone number

If you want to use direct deposit, you must provide your bank account number and routing number. You can also request a Reemployment Assistance debit card.

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Common Types Of Complaints

When it comes to fair treatment at your workplace, anything from harassment to wage issues can become a complaint. At this time, it becomes a question of whether you want to file a Florida state lawsuit or a federal complaint. For a state lawsuit, the employee must first notify their employer of their claim. The employee has 15 days to respond to the claim and potentially resolve it. After 15 days, if the employee has not resolved the situation, only then can it be filed with the Florida state court. The employee may want to hire an attorney at this time.

You may also file a federal complaint. Your type of case determines the method of filing, but you may begin the process by visiting one of Floridas seven DOL offices. You will be required to include specific information about yourself and your employer. Additional documents, such as pay stubs, may also help your case.

Supplemental Unemployment Insurance Benefits During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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The CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan established the following supplemental unemployment insurance programs during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program aimed to provide qualifying unemployment insurance claimants with a supplemental $300-$600 per week in addition to their state unemployment insurance benefits. The program expired on September 6, 2021.

  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation sought to provide 24 weeks of extended unemployment insurance benefits to recipients who have exhausted their standard benefits. The program expired on September 6, 2021.

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

The federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program aimed to provide individuals who are out of work but ineligible for standard unemployment insurance benefits with $300-$600 in weekly compensation. Qualifying individuals included workers who are not eligible for standard benefits, such as independent contractors and self-employed workers, as well as individuals who have exhausted their standard benefits, extended benefits, or PEUC benefits. The program expired on September 6, 2021.

  • Lost Wages Assistance
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation

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Florida Withdraws From Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program

The DEO on May 24, 2021, announced that it would end its participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program prior to its September 6, 2021, expiration. DEO Secretary Dan Eagle stated in a press release that decision to end FPUC benefits followed the release of “Aprils labor statistics which show total private-sector employment increased by 18,800 jobs and more than 460,000 online job postings available throughout the state for job seekers.” The department ended FPUC benefits on June 26, 2021.

Florida’s participation in the following federal unemployment insurance programs remains in effect through September 6, 2021, as the agency continues to monitor employment trends in the state:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation

Refusal To Return To Work After Layoff/furlough

Workers who have been placed on a temporary layoff but refuse to return to work when recalled by their employer will lose reemployment assistance benefits. Not returning to work when there is available work could be considered a refusal of work or voluntary quit and potentially disqualify claimants from receiving reemployment assistance.


Businesses should use the Employer Reporting Refusal of Suitable Work form to report employees who refuse to return to work without good reason or who quit their jobs. As soon as possible, email the form to or mail to:

DLR RA Division P.O. Box 4730 Aberdeen, SD 57402-4730

Fraudulent activity will lead to an inability to receive future reemployment assistance benefits until all fraudulent claims and fines have been repaid. Individuals are responsible for paying back benefits deemed as overpayments due to ineligibility. View our Employee Notice: Reemployment Assistance Benefits Eligibility: Quitting without Good Cause/Refusal to Work


DLR offers a vast variety of training and education programs that can help workers whose employment may be permanently affected by the outbreak. Tuition assistance is available for eligible individuals to secure a high-demand, high-wage career upon completion. Registered Apprenticeships also provide flexible on-the-job training paired with classroom instruction in many industries.

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