How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Florida?

Florida requires you to have earned a minimum of $3,400 in the entire base period. Further, you must have earned at least 1.5 times your HQW in the entire base period, as well. Your highest quarter wages (HQW) must be at least $2,267. You also must have worked during a minimum of two quarters in the base period in order to qualify for unemployment insurance.

Florida does not offer extended or alternate base periods.

In Florida an employer or employing unit is covered under unemployment insurance if it paid at least $1,500 in wages during any calendar quarter in the current or previous calendar year. Further, an employer/employing unit is also covered under unemployment insurance if it paid wages to at least one employee and employed said worker at least one day per week during the 20 weeks of the current or previous calendar year.

34 comments

  • Larry

    I recently left a job after a disagreement with my boss during the middle of a work day after being asked to stay. I was asked to come in the next day. Two days later I was informed. That they would accept a resignation from me. Can i get unemployment?

    • Apply for benefits and work your way through the process. Essentially, you and your employer came to a mutual agreement your employment should be terminated. Normally, you would qualify for benefits. FL, however, will initially deny. You will need to appeal to get benefits if employer asserts you quit. FL only pays $275/wk for 13 weeks. It will take at least two months before your case is decided.

  • Julia Preston

    I started at a company in may 2017.my salary is 1250 biweekly. I have been told I am not meeting expectations and Have about 2 weeks before I may be terminated. Would I qualify?

    • FL will examine all wages earned April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017. If you have wages in at least two quarters during that time frame, you qualify monetarily. Poor performance is not grounds for denial of benefits unless employer can prove it was intentional.

  • Mark

    My friend worked in new jersey at her job for years before moving to florida in january. She got a job sometime in february and just got fired last week because she had a minor back surgery and her job would not authorize a month off unpaid. She was making $400 base pay with about $100 or so a week in bonus. Is she eligible for unemployment benefits or disability?

    • Your friend is far better off with a NJ unemployment claim for which she will qualify. NJ will examine NJ wages April 1, 2016-December 2016. NJ pays 60% of her average weekly NJ wage for 26 weeks v. FL max of $275 for ONLY 13 weeks. NJ also has a disability program but, since her last employer was in FL, she probably is no longer eligible for that, but she could ask about it if she is able to get through to NJ by phone. FL has no disability program. If her employer doesn’t offer one, then she is out of luck. She may need to visit FL social services for immediate help with food, etc. until her unemployment benefits are payable.

      She should apply in NJ now before any further wages age out of the base period. When she is again able and available to search for and accept work, NJ will begin to pay benefits. If she remains unemployed, she can also apply for FL benefits when her NJ claim is exhausted.

      • Mark

        Just wanted to ask one more question. She quit her job in new jersey to move to florida, she wasn’t fired from that job. Can she still apply for the NJ unemployment even though she wasn’t fired from that job and voluntarily quit.

        • Yes. The last separation is what matters. She’s worked long enough at this new job (more than 8 weeks and earned more than 10xWBA), the NJ quit won’t matter. She should tell NJ about the FL earnings when she is interviewed, so they know there is no penalty for the quit. She may need to provide paystubs.

  • PM

    I began work as a manager 10/10/2016. The company has eliminated my position as of 8/14/2017. They are trying to offer me another position ($23,000 a year pay cut and it’s not a manager position). Can I collect unemployment? I live in Florida.

  • Bella

    HI, Ive been working for an office since the end of March 2017. The owner has just informed us that she will be closing the office in order to downsize on company costs, and the last day of business will be Aug 30th 2017. Am I’m also 7 months pregnant. Am I eligible for unemployment in the state of FL?

    • FL requires earnings in at least two quarters and will examine ALL earnings April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017. If your only earnings during this period were in March, you do not qualify at this time. Read this – click on Monetary Determinations: http://www.floridajobs.org/job-seekers-community-services/reemployment-assistance-center/claimants/claimant-faqs

      If you are still unemployed in October, reapply then. At that time, FL can examine earnings July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017 and may find sufficient earnings to support a claim. You will need to provide medical evidence of fitness for work because your baby is due about then. Once you have recovered from the birth and you obtain a doctor’s release, FL will pay benefits if you qualify monetarily.

  • Mark Hubler

    I worked for a restaurant for exactly 89 days. They let me go just before 90 days. It was not due to misconduct or anything, it just did not work out. I was employed part time, anywhere from 20 to 30+ hours. Am I eligible for unemployment?

  • I worked for over 28 years in the state retirement system. My job was relocated to another town 4 hours on way. I could not travel that far each day. On January 13, 2017, I worked my last day. But , I only had 1.48 left till my 30 years! Why was I only given unemployment for 6 weeks? I jumped over hoop to answer your questions. I had a right to unemployment benefits and they stopped them way too soon. Please help me, we have gone to a 0 income in my family and after 28.5 years of solid employment​, I have spied for food stamps and was approved! I can’t touch a job because everyone see 57 years old and they think I’m ready to retire. I’m a young 57 and I wanted to work for years to come, but I have had my car respossed, I losing my beautiful hair because of stress and the only reason I was given was oh sorry, your benefits have run out. Why was that!?? Please help me before I do something stupid. Thank you.

    • This website has no connection to the State of Florida. FL only pays 12-13 weeks’ benefits right now because of its low unemployment rate. If you were given any type of a severance package, the severance may have been deducted from your overall monetary award reducing the number of weeks paid.

  • Cee Cee

    Hi Friday is my last day at my job because of Budget cuts. I work there for 7 months and made over 15k am I eligible for Unemployment?

  • Cindy Hasher

    My spouse is in the military and is being stationed across the country. I have to leave my job for that reason. Am I eligible to collect unemployment?

  • Jc

    I recently got recruited to a company from another company. I’ve worked for them for 5 weeks and have earned about $7000. If I am fired now, will I be eligible for unployment? They seem very impatient with me learning their products and getting up to speed. I’m in Florida.

    • Yes, you are eligible. You need to have earned $4,675 at this new job following the earlier quit. You’ve purged whatever penalty FL might have for that earlier separation. You may need to provide paystubs to prove these earnings as FL database may not be up to date.

      • Jc

        Thank you for the quick reply and the good news, takes some of the stress off.

      • Anna King

        My husband lost his job in Alabama after 17 years. I was forced to resign my job of over 15 years because our housing was supplied with his job. We moved back to Florida to be near family to help us out. I found a job in an office manager in a field I have never worked with. I have been a there for 7 weeks now. I fear they are going to let me go because they are not willing to give me time to learn their system. What I qualify for unemployment and with my work and Alabama have any bearing on that ? I am already applying for other jobs in case this one falls through. My husband has had no luck in finding a job

        • FL won’t grant a claim at this time because you do not have two quarters of work in FL. Your work history is in Alabama. Therefore, you apply for benefits in Alabama. You need to have earned $2,650 gross at the FL job in order to purge any penalty for the Alabama quit. You will need to provide Alabama proof of earnings (copies of paystubs) at the FL job. Alabama benefits are better anyway – $265/wk for 26 wks. v. FL’s $275/wk for only 13 weeks.

  • Thank you for your help!

    I was recently let go, it was a mutual separation in the letter. I started working in November 2016 and my last day of work was June 2017 prior to that I had worked in California from April 2016 – September 2016.
    Asides from that there has been 1 employer on the claim from Louisiana that I have not worked for yet it appeared on my claim.
    I received a letter from DEO stating the reason for my ineligible is : Wages in only one quarter of the base period. Even though my combined earning from California & Florida is well over $9k.
    What should I do, would you have any recommendation?
    Thank you very much!

    • FL won’t examine wages in other states unless you ask it to. Resubmit the application, asking for a combined-wage claim. FL will examine wages April 2016-March 2017. You may need to speak to a rep to get this done – or file an appeal requesting a combined-wage cliam.

  • Aaron Farrell

    I am currently employed for a company that hasnt worked me in two weeks. Can i file for unemployment or do i need to be officially let go first?

  • michelle timmann

    I live in Florida and have worked for a company for almost 4 years.They have decided to relocate but I am unable to join them….Would I be able to get benefits?

  • Mindy Harnish

    My 62 year old husband was just diagnosed with a compressed disc in his lower back due to many years of being an over the road trucker. The pain did not start when he was on the job, and we filed on my health insurance so he does not qualify for worker’s comp. He could be off for up to 6 weeks and may not be able to return to work at all. I see that Florida unemployment can be paid for medical leave, and that we will probably have to report every week as normal, but what about the 5 job contacts? He was told that his job will be waiting for him but it involves driving and lifting, which he is currently unable to do. I can find no guidance to this question on your web site. Please advise on what we should do to receive benefits.

    • Please link the webpage where you’ve “seen that Florida unemployment can be paid for medical leave.”

      Unemployment benefits are never paid to the disabled. Workmen’s comp would be the only other option.

      FL will establish a claim based on a quit for medical reasons. FL will not pay benefits unless he has a doctor’s release and is Able and Available – able to search for and accept work.

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