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How Does Unemployment Work In Florida

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Example Calculation Of Florida Unemployment Benefits

Work search requirement resumes in Florida for unemployment

Heres an example of how the calculation works under typical circumstances.

Lets assume youre applying for Florida unemployment benefits in May 2020, and you earned the following amounts during the last few quarters.

  • Q1 2019: $3,500
  • Q4 2019: $5,750
  • Q1 2020: $2,500

The base period ignores the most recent quarter, so youll disregard the income from the first quarter of 2020. Of the remaining quarters, the third quarter of 2019 was your highest-earning one. If you divide these earnings by 26, your weekly benefit amount works out to $269.23.

Florida Unemployment Benefits: Changes Explained

ORLANDO, Fla. â More than a year and a half since the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic â and surge of unemployment claim filings â persistent problems remain with Floridaâs unemployment system.

Despite an overburdened state agency’s attempts to install fixes, countless individuals face dire home situations.

Editorâs Note: This article is intended to provide a single source of answers and resources pertaining to changing policies and impacts with Floridaâs unemployment system. It is a comprehensive guide and covers a number of topics. We suggest using your browser’s search function to search on specific keywords, or topic words. Spectrum News will regularly update this article, at times adding, removing, and/or editing elements as needed.

What Is Considered A Valid Work Search

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said people are required to give good faith in their search for new work, although they are not bound to strictly apply for jobs that they think theyâre qualified for.

However, the longer a person is out of work, the more pressure theyâll face in accepting a new job.

âDuring the first 60 days a claimant collects Reemployment Assistance benefits, work will not be considered suitable if: it pays less than 90% of the claimants average weekly wage during the base period or it would require a material change in occupation for the claimant,â a spokesperson for Florida DEO told Spectrum News.

Those standards, however, change over time.

âAs the length of unemployment increases, offered work that may not have been suitable within the first few weeks of the claim may be considered suitable as prospects for desired work diminish,â DEO said. âAfter an individual has received 25 weeks or more of Reemployment Assistance benefits in a single year, suitable work is a job that pays the minimum wage and is 120% or more of the weekly benefit amount the individual is drawing. The Department will take into consideration any circumstances that compromise a claimantâs health and safety.â

Turning down a job offer could put a claimant at risk of losing benefits.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is making it easier for employers to report to the state people who have turned down job offers.

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Supplemental Unemployment Insurance Benefits During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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

How To Appeal A Denial Of Unemployment Benefits In Florida

Florida Senate mulls increase in unemployment benefits

If your claim for unemployment benefits is denied, you may file an appeal within 20 days after the date the determination was mailed to you. You may file online, by mail, or by fax. After receiving your appeal request, the agency will schedule a telephone hearing and mail you a packet of information to help you prepare. Following the hearing, the appeals referee will decide on your case and mail the decision to you.

If you disagree with the referee’s decision after the hearing, you may appeal it to the Unemployment Appeals Commission you must file this second appeal within 20 days after the date the first appeal decision was mailed to you. The commissioners will review the evidence from your original hearing and issue a written decision. If you disagree with this decision, you may appeal it to the Florida District Court of Appeal.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity provides detailed information on the unemployment process at its reemployment assistance service center page.

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    Please Read Deos Resource Guide Which You Can Find On Floridajobsorg For Additional Guidance

    If you have specific questions you would like Anna to answer, please tune in to our Friday Facebook Live at 4:00pm EST and submit your questions in advance here.

    Heres our Facebook Live from last week:

    Curious what the employer side of unemployment benefits looks like? Check out Annas tweet-thread on this topic by clicking here.

    Still need help with your unemployment claim? Fill out DEOs Help Center form here. If your case is urgent, please call our Legislative Office at 4072281451. If we are unable to pick up the phone please leave us a voicemail.

    Can You Work In New York If You Live In Florida

    If you NEVER come to NY for work, and your employer can stipulate that your position is only available to be filled remotely, you will likely be covered. But there are a myriad of factors relating to this such as whether the employer reimburses you for your home office and whether you keep business records at your office.

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    Exact Answer: 12 23 Weeks

    The state of Florida administers unemployment benefits for its citizens. The benefits are governed by the Reemployment Assistance Program through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The Reemployment Assistance Program provides temporary and partial wage replacement for qualified workers who have become unemployed through no actual fault of their own.

    One must be partially or totally unemployed. The person should have lost the job not due to his fault. This means that one must not be fired for malicious misconduct or have quit the job for personal reasons for availing unemployment benefits.

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    Floridas Unemployment Benefits Will Soon Require Proof Of Job Searches

    Out-of-work employees continue to report glitches in Florida unemployment site

    Gov. Ron DeSantis expects late this month to reinstate a requirement that people in the unemployment system submit weekly work search updates.

    Referring to some businesses saying they are unable to find new employees as they regroup from the COVID-19 pandemic, DeSantis said Wednesday unemployment claimants will likely have to start showing how they looked for work once an executive order waiving a work-search requirement ends May 29.

    We suspended that last year at this time because, quite frankly, there werent jobs, DeSantis said during an appearance at the Satellite Beach Police Department.

    Floridas unemployment rate stood at 4.7 percent in March, representing 475,000 people out of work from a workforce of 10.17 million. The state Department of Economic Opportunity will release an April report on May 21. The rate was 13.8 percent in April 2020, after the pandemic forced businesses to shut down or dramatically scale back.

    I think now were in just a different situation, you have a surplus of jobs, particularly in restaurant, lodging, hospitality, that people want to hire, DeSantis said. I mean, you see the signs all over the place. Look, thats a good problem to have. But we also just want to make sure, like, look, if youre really unemployed, cant get a job, thats one thing. But making sure that youre doing your due diligence to look for work, and making sure those incentives align, better.

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    How Long Can I Claim Florida Unemployment Benefits And How Much Will I Get

    How long you can receive Florida unemployment benefits varies depending on unemployment rates at the time. As of 2021, the maximum time you can receive benefits is 19 weeks.

    Your weekly benefit amount is calculated by dividing your total earnings in the quarter in which you were paid the most by 26. You will then receive this amount per week, or the weekly maximum of $275, whichever is lower. Your total benefit amount is calculated by dividing your base period total by 4, but it cannot exceed the maximum total benefit amount of $5225.

    You can choose between two payment options. You can either receive your benefits by direct transfer into your nominated account or via a Way2Go debit card.

    Can Furloughed Workers Receive Unemployment Benefits

    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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    When Should I Apply For Florida Unemployment Benefits

    You should file a claim for Florida unemployment benefits as soon as you become unemployed.

    When you apply for unemployment benefits, the effective date of your initial claim is important because that is the date that is used to determine when your benefits begin.

    The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity cannot pay benefits for weeks before your claim effective date.

    Am I Eligible For Florida Unemployment Benefits

    Q and A: Fixing Florida

    To qualify for unemployment compensation in Florida, you must be out of work through no fault of your own and have earned a minimum of $3,400 during a 12-month period. Its important to note that for the first four of the five quarters before filing your Florida unemployment benefits claim that you are :

    • a U.S. citizen or have a permit to work in the United States
    • have worked for an employer covered by the states unemployment insurance law
    • are able and available for work

    If you quit your job, you are not eligible for Florida unemployment compensation unless you quit because:

    • of illness or disability
    • of unsolvable problems at work, such as discrimination, harassment, or unsafe working conditions
    • your spouse is in the military and was ordered to relocate permanently

    If misconduct led to your firing, you are not eligible for unemployment compensation. Florida defines misconduct as:

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    How Long Do You Have To Work In Fl To Get Unemployment

    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.

    How Does Annual Leave Work In The State Of Florida

    Annual Leave Annual leave is paid leave that is used for personal time off from work and must be requested and approved in advance. You must have accrued the appropriate balance prior to using the leave credits. Please note that annual leave requests are not automatically granted. If your absence would adversely affect the work unit,

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    Eligibility For Unemployment Benefits In Fl

    To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must have earned wages from an employer covered by the states unemployment insurance law. They pay into the fund that subsidizes the benefits program. You must earn enough wages from a covered employer in a 12-month period. Additionally, you must:

    • Be unemployed, fully or partially, through no fault of your own
    • Be able and available to work
    • Be legal to work in the US or a US citizen
    • Register online with the Employ Florida marketplace.

    A state claims examiner will determine first whether you meet the wage earnings requirement. If you do, the state will examine the reason you were separated from employment and look for other issues to decide whether you can receive benefits.

    Florida Unemployment Benefits And Eligibility

    Major changes to Florida’s unemployment could shake up how benefits are received

    COVID-19 UPDATE: Because the coronavirus pandemic has left so many Americans jobless, the federal government has given states more flexibility in granting unemployment benefits. If you have questions about whether youre eligible for unemployment benefits read our COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits and Insurance FAQ and check out Florida’s claimant handbook.

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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

    Below Is A Review Of Recent Deo Updates That Might Help W/some Of Your Questions

    OVERPAYMENTS: People who received overpayments in unemployment benefits from the state during most of last year and this year will no longer have to worry about being sent to a collection agency. In a letter to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity , Governor Ron DeSantis directed DEO Secretary Dane Eagle to submit a request to the states Chief Financial Officer to indefinitely defer all referrals to collections agencies for all non-fraudulent payments incurred during the pandemic to help Floridians avoid further setbacks to their personal economic recoveries. Read more here.

    Claimants who have received federal Reemployment Assistance benefits may be eligible to receive an overpayment waiver for federal overpayments established on their claims. Previously, DEO announced the availability of an overpayment waiver for the PUA and PEUC programs in the CONNECT system on April 21, 2021. The overpayment waiver request form for MEUC, FPUC, and LWA programs will soon be available to claimants in their CONNECT account.

    DEO encourages claimants to check their Reemployment Assistance account frequently and take actions on their claim when prompted. In some instances, a claimant may be required to complete additional forms or, at the claimants option, file an appeal to ineligible notices to reverse overpayments created on their account.

    To assist claimants in navigating overpayments on their accounts, DEO has made the following resources available:

    1099-G FORM:

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    What You Need To Apply

    Before you apply for benefits, you will want to make sure you have all of the necessary information to complete the application. You will need the following pieces of information:

    • State issued identification
    • Names, addresses, and phone numbers for all of your employers in the past 18 months
    • What dates you worked and total wages for every employer in the past 18 months
    • Gross income for the first week you are claiming unemployment
    • Alien registration number and the expiration date of your work permit
    • A DD-214 form if you were in the military within the last two years
    • For federal employees, your SF-50 or SF9 form
    • Checking account number and routing number to have direct deposit.

    How Long Will My Unemployment Compensation Last

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    Floridas unemployment rate, the time you apply for unemployment benefits, determines how long you can receive compensation. Twenty-three weeks is the maximum number of weeks you can collect. Unless its during times of very high unemployment, such as during the Great Recession, you may apply for extended benefits or emergency unemployment compensation . However, right now, those programs are not available because of low unemployment rates.

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    Work Search Waiver Expiration

    The most immediate impact on eligibility for unemployment benefits is the expiration of the stateâs Work Search Waiver and, for many, the requirement to register for job search assistance.

    For years, law required individuals to actively pursue new work opportunities to remain eligible to receive benefits.

    Gov. Ron DeSantis continued to extend the expiration of this waiver in an effort to ease the burden of returning to the workforce during the pandemic.

    On May 12, Dane Eagle, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, announced the state would allow the waiver to lapse as business owners voiced frustration with hiring new employees.

    Many business owners say theyâre struggling to hire new workers because people are “receiving more on unemployment than they would on the job,” although economists say it’s not that simple.

    Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the changing dynamics of the nationâs workforce is not to blame entirely on extended unemployment benefits, but rather a number of factors, including people moving to new cities, people “upskilling” into new and more stable career fields, and competition among industries that are offering higher wages, better benefits, and hiring incentives.

    GALLERY: The biggest impact to Florida unemployment benefits is coming May 30.That’s when Floridians will have to start PROVING they’re searching for work to qualify for benefits.

    â Greg Angel May 19, 2021

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