Florida Unemployment – Do you know your rights?

  Last Verified: January 2017  

Florida’s economy and job market has improved since the recession; however, that hasn’t benefited the state’s unemployment insurance program, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP). In 2013, the state finished paying off a $3.5 billion loan it took to pay unemployment benefits when the state was on an economic downturn. Now, a NELP study shows that it is more difficult to get benefits in Florida than almost any other state save South Carolina. The state may show its intentions by renaming the unemployment insurance program “reemployment assistance.” An NELP lawyer told the Florida Sun-Sentinel that many who don’t receive benefits fail during the application process. While officials at the Florida Department of Economic Security (DES) deny their process is at fault, the disparity suggests becoming familiar with the application process is important.

Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits in FL

To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must have earned wages from an employer covered by the state’s 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: Fl state seal - get unemployment benefits

  • 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.

Eligibility Requirements Explained

Unemployed Through No Fault of Your Own

If you were laid off due to downsizing, your employer going out of business, company restructuring, or other circumstances beyond your control, you could be eligible for benefits.

Able and Available

In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must be physically and mentally able to work. If you are offered a position deemed suitable, you must accept it.

Wage Earnings Requirement and the Base Period

The DES will look at your wages over a 12-month period to determine whether you qualify for reemployment assistance and how much unemployment payments you’ll receive.This 12-month period is called the base period, and is the first four of the last five quarters (3 month periods) prior to the date you filed your claim.

unemployment base period

This chart shows the base period.

You must have worked and earned wages in at least two quarters of your base period (the last 4 quarters before applying for Florida unemployment). The amount of earnings during your base period must be a minimum of 1.5 times the wages of your highest earning quarter in your base period. So if your highest earning quarter was $3,000, your total earnings for the base period must be at least $4,500. You must earn more than $3,400 during the base period to be eligible.

Calculating Your Benefit Payment

The DES uses the base period to calculate how much you’ll receive each week in benefit payments, your weekly benefit amount (WBA). Take your total base period wages and divide by 26 to get your maximum WBA.

The max you can receive in Florida is set by law. The current maximum is $275. You may not receive more than the maximum level even if your wage determination would allow for more. How many weeks you can receive payments during your benefit year depends on the unemployment rate in Florida. It will be between 12 to 23 weeks. Currently you may only receive benefits for 12.

Extended Benefit Payments

At times of severe unemployment, the Federal government and state governments activate additional weeks of unemployment payments. The state formerly offers additional weeks through the Extended Benefits program, no longer active, but instead relies on the federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits Act, which was not renewed.

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits in FL

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
  • You social security number
  • 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 (pre-tax income) for the first week you are claiming unemployment
  • Alien registration number and the expiration date of your work permit (for non-U.S citizens)
  • 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 to Apply

You can file for benefits through Florida’s online system CONNECT. You cannot file for unemployment benefits in Florida at an office or over the phone.  You should file your claim within one week of becoming unemployed. You can file 24-hours a day, but if you need to speak with a representative about your application, you should call the Contact Center between normal business hours at 1-800-681-8102. You can also use the online contact form.

Once your claim has been accepted, you will receive your first payment in 3-4 weeks. No benefits are paid the first week you file you claim because it is a “waiting week”.

Maintaining Eligibility and Weekly Certifications

The DES requires that you maintain your eligibility status while you receive benefits. To make sure you remain eligible, the state requires that you request a benefit payment every two weeks. When you request the payment online with CONNECT, the software will ask you questions to help determine whether you remain eligible.

You may only request a payment on certain days. You have seven days after your scheduled day to make the request.

Day of the week to request a payment PRIOR to the FIRST PAYMENT being processed:

Last Digit of Your SSN Day
Even Number Monday
Odd Number Tuesday

Day of the week to request a payment AFTER the first payment has processed

Last 4 Digits of Your SSN Day
0000-1999 Monday
2000-3999 Tuesday
4000-6999 Wednesday
7000-9999 Thursday

The system will ask several questions to determine whether you remain eligible.

  • Are you able and available to work
  • Are you actively seeking work
  • Did you refuse any offer or referral of word
  • Whether you earned any wages during the week
  • Any other income that you did not report when you filed your initial claim

Job Seeking Requirement

The state required you to register with Employ Florida when you filed the initial claim. To remain eligible, you must make an effort to find work. In Florida, a good faith effort to find work means five verifiable job contacts or activities per week. The DES may request that you show proof of your job contacts.

You are required to provide the following details for each job contact:

  • Date of Contact
  • Method of Contact (In person, Online, Fax, Phone, etc.)
  • Business Name including telephone number & complete address, website URL or an e-mail
  • Results of your search
  • Type of work sought

The DES exclude some workers from the job search requirement.

  • You are in a DES-approved training program
  • You were laid off and have a date on which you’ll return to regular work
  • You are in a union
  • You will start a new job in six weeks or more.

Workers who live in low-population counties only have to show three contacts per week.

Part-time Work and Unemployment Benefits

You may work during a benefit week and still receive benefits as long as your wages don’t exceed your WBA. If you earn more than $58 during a week, the state will deduct money from your benefit payment.

You must report earnings when you request a benefit payment. You must report your gross wages, not your “take home” pay, and you must report the payments during the week you earned them, not during the week you received a pay check.

The state may deduct from your benefit payments for other reasons. Certain kinds of income, like investment income, may be deducted. You may chose to deduct income tax from your WBA.

Reasons for Denial of Benefits

The state will determine whether you met the wage and earnings requirement after you file your initial claim. They will mail you a Wage Transcript and Determination showing your benefit year, wages and potential WBA. If you don’t meet the wage and earnings requirement, you will not qualify to receive benefits. You may request a redetermination of your wages within 20 days of the mailing date of the determination.

Next, a claims examiner will determine whether you have any other issues that may be disqualifying. They will look at the reasons for your separation from work. Separation issues are often disqualifying.

If your actions or decisions were the proximate cause of your separation from work, the claims examiner may likely disqualify you.

If you quit work for personal reasons or reasons unconnected to work, the state may deny your claim. If you quit because you could not get child care for your school age children, or you quit because you could not get transportation to work, the state will not consider these to be a “good cause connected to work.”

If your employer fires you for actions that showed a disregard for the employer’s interests, the claims examiner may deny benefits. Such actions could include a repeated violation of a rule despite warnings or failing to perform duties as required despite warnings. The state considers these actions to be “misconduct connected to the work.”

Other issues

The state might deny your benefits for reasons unrelated to wage or separation issues. Refusing a reasonable job offer is one. A reasonable offer would be one that pays a salary similar to your previous one, with duties you’re trained to perform. After you’ve received 25 weeks of benefits, the definition changes. At that point, a suitable offer would be for a job that pays 120% of your benefit amount or at least minimum wage, whichever is the greatest amount.

Quit and Still Eligible

There are some circumstances in Florida where workers could make the decision to quit, yet be eligible to receive benefits. If your employer required you to work in a hostile environment to your ethnicity or gender, it would be a good cause to quit. However, you would have to show you did everything you could to keep your job, including meeting with a supervisor or reporting the matter to your HR department.

Dismissed and Still Eligible

For the DES to deny your claim based on a discharge, the examiner must find that you committed “misconduct connected to your work.” Your employer may discharge you for a just cause in their minds; however, your action may not be misconduct, such as a one-time violation of policy. Actions can be a single occurrence and still be misconduct if the action shows a “disregard for the employer’s interests.”

What Happens When the State Denies An Unemployment Insurance Claim

You may appeal any decision by the state regarding your benefits. You may request a hearing on the determination via the state’s CONNECT system or by filing an appeal to the Office of Appeals by mail.

Office of Appeals 
MSC 347, Caldwell Building
107 East Madison Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-4143
Fax: 850.617.6504

For further information on appeals, read our page about filing an appeal for unemployment benefits in Florida.

Resources and Contact Information

For questions regarding the application process or information about your claim, you can call Reemployment Assistance Hotline at 800-204-2418 Monday-Friday 8:00AM to 5:00PM.

Email Reemployment Assistance department: http://www.floridajobs.org/applications/uccontactus/

Read the FAQ about the CONNECT system

Read the Florida Reemployment Services handbook

Appeals (clerk’s office):  (850) 921-3511

Appeals Commission: (850) 487-2685

If you need to send any correspondences in the mail, you can send it to:

Department of Economic Opportunity

107 East Madison Street,

 Caldwell Building

 Tallahassee Florida 32399

If you do not have access to a computer to file your claim or need help with your application, you can contact your nearest One Stop Career Center. The directory is located here.


  • Lorrie Jones

    I live in Florida but telecommute for a New York company. The company is going to be closing and I will be likely be let go. Do I qualify to collect Florida unemployment ?

    • Depends on to which state your employer has been reporting your wages and paying FUTA tax. Because of the lower benefit and state tax, chances are its FL. You could try NY first on the off-chance the employer reported your wages there. Otherwise, ask your employer to which state they’ve been reporting your wages and paying FUTA tax.

  • Mercia

    Hi, I was let go from my job on 12/12/16. the company paid me 2 weeks notice plus 8 weeks of severance. i live in FL and I am eligible for the maximum payment. I haven’t applied for the unemployment yet but i am wondering if i can start to receive the benefits now or do i have to wait until all the severance payment is covered? which is the end of feb/2017. Also i was let go with being 7 months pregnant, is there any additional other benefit i am eligible for because i am pregnant? Many Thanks!

    • FL delays benefits until equivalent severance is exhausted, in your case eight weeks. Apply now. It takes FL a while to process the paperwork. About the time your severance is exhausted, FL should be in a position to pay you. Of course, at that time your child may be born, rendering you NOT Able and Available. FL will close the claim, which you can REOPEN when you are once again fit to search for and accept work.

      No, in FL there are no disability benefits available in your circumstances. NJ and CA provide very generous benefits in your circumstances – in CA a significantly higher benefit than unemployment – one can easily collect over $500/wk. in CA for up to a year under its SDI program. But, these are high-tax states. Low-tax states/retiree havens have very stingy benefits.

      FL only pays unemployment benefits for 13 weeks. Most states pay at least 26 weeks and a higher benefit.


      • Mercia

        Thanks for your reply. I am wondering if i can apply in NY instead FL. My paycheck comes from the NY office, the same with the W2, I know NY has a higher pay but how to know if I am eligible in NY?
        Thanks again for your help.

        • You apply in NY. If NY database shows wages for you, it will process the claim. Otherwise, ask your employer to which state they’ve been reporting your wages. Chances are it’s FL b/c FL has a much lower benefit than NY and consequently a lower FUTA tax to the employer.

  • Allie

    How long do I have after losing my job to still file for unemployment benefits? I am waiting for a decision from my short term disability policy if they will roll it over into long term disability before I’ll know if I can file for unemployment or not since I cannot collect on both things at the same time. I’ve been unemployed since 12/16/16 and my disability policy doesnt plan to make a decision for another week.

    • You can apply for benefits as long as sufficient wages remain in your base period to support a claim. Essentially, if you applied as late as end of March 2018, FL would review wages July 1, 2016-September 30, 2017. Two quarters of 2016 wages still remain in the base period, which is the minimum in most states. Keep in mind FL only pays a maximum of $275/wk. for 13 weeks.

  • Betty M Quarles

    I missed my day for calling in my claim week, can I still file? In Florida

  • Ben

    Hello, I became unemployed in 12/18/2016. I submitted my unemployment application the week after. Why can I I only enter in work up to the 2nd quarter of 2016 when I started my most recent job on 07/05/2016?

    • Because the standard base period for an application filed in December is July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016. In order for later wages to be considered, you would need to have filed in January. If you have not yet filed a weekly claim and have not yet been paid, it may be possible to withdraw the claim/tell FL to cancel the December application and refile in January which would include earnings through September 30, 2016.

  • Caroline

    I was employed in FL but the company that actually employed me is in IN. That is where my paychecks are from. In which state do I apply for unemployment?

  • Scott M

    I worked as a technology consultant. I live in Florida and did work and paid taxes in more than one state. For example, NY, NJ, FL. Since I worked and paid tax in each of these states, can I collect unemployment in each of the states? Am I correct in that I would file a separate claim in each state?

    Thank you.

    • Benefit-wise, NJ is the best state, max benefit $657/26 wks, NY $420/26 wks. FL is awful at $275 for only 13 weeks.

      What matters is how long did you work in each state and when, and was this the same employer in all three states. Therefore, list your work history going back 18 months. You don’t want your best wages (NJ/NY) to age out of any possible base period, so this is important information.

      FYI – state income taxes which you are required to pay have NOTHING whatsoever to do with FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act) taxes which are paid by the EMPLOYER to the state to which it reports your income for unemployment benefit purposes.

      So, the question is: To which state is the employer paying FUTA taxes on your wages? Normally, that’s where you apply.

      Particularly if you are working for a multi-state employer, for FUTA tax purposes that employer may only be paying FUTA taxes to one state – and possibly none of the states in which you worked. I’ve known of Hawaii workers who were required to apply and collect from the State of Tennessee because that is the state to which employer paid FUTA taxes.

      Hopefully your work history will allow a 26 week claim in both NJ and NY, with a possible FL claim last provided enough wages remain in the base period at that point.

      • Scott M

        Thank you for the detailed response. Very helpful. One point of clarification. My earnings with this employer are high enough in each state to max out on all 3 states (NJ, NY, FL) for the full 26 weeks. So the question is, can I file a claim in each state and collect all simultaneously if FUTA is taken out in each? The total would still be well below prior earnings.

        – NJ – $657
        – NY – $420
        – FL – $275

        Total $1352

        Thank you.

        • No, you cannot collect simultaneously. You can have three consecutive claims in three different states provided enough wages remain in the base period, but cannot collect concurrently. The oldest claim must be exhausted before establishment of a new claim.

  • Denise

    my company informed us that they are closing the doors on 12/31/16. When can i go online to file for unemployment?

    • Because the 4th quarter is ending, it is very important you file before midnight December 31st. If your last day of work is Saturday, December 31st, you file that day. If you are working until midnight that day, file before you go to work. If you delay, you will lose a quarter of wages in your LAG should you need another claim a year from now. Won’t affect your claim today, but it could very well be important a year from now.

      • Kathy

        Hi Daphne-Contributor, – are you saying that if I am still unemployed in 2018 year from the job I am losing December 31, 2016 (and after collecting benefits in 2017 for that job loss) (just like Denise – doors closing) that the following year (2018) I can again reapply for more unemployment benefits from the same job loss? (I was trying to understand what you meant about the quarter wages and another claim year.) Thank you for your help!

  • Joe

    i left my company in July will I be able to collect for all that time in between?

    • Benefits are paid from date of application – not date of discharge. No, there are no retro payments going back to July. Apply now. FL will use wages earned July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 and should be able to establish the claim.

  • Michael MATHIEU

    I am working for a security company and I was hired for the day shift After 6 months my supervisor and client of company put me on 3rd shift overnights and said I had no other choice if I want to continue to work here. I sucked it up for couple weeks and became ill due to the change and stress of my body. I received a doctors note that I am not allowed in my best interest to work 3rd shift now on. The company does not want me back on days and was constantly harassing me . Does this make me eligible for unemployment now ?

    • Yes. You have a medical reason for the quit. The company won’t accommodate a day shift. If you can assure FL, via medical release, that you are fit to work days, you should be approved. That said, FL is not claimant-friendly and may initially deny even though you experienced a material change in the terms of your employment when your hours were changed. You should win at appeal if this happens.

  • Alicia Nelson

    Hello there, Hoping that you can help me. I quit my job in November 2016 after I had been moved to part time in September. (I was given less than a week’s notice that I would be made part time). I went out on FMLA for the month of October for knee surgery, which I was paid my PTO for part time hours. During the month of October, my employer took away my health insurance benefits as well. They never did offer me another full time position in the company that suited my education and experience, just told me that due to low client referrals that I would be a part time employee indefinitely.
    When I returned from FMLA, there was a letter on my desk saying I had to bill for 16 client hours a week, while only working 20 hours total. I did not sign the letter, as I disagreed with this and felt that it was unrealistic. The employer did not and offered me more things to do to increase billing. Due to the reduction in work hours from full time to part time and unrealistic expectations, I turned in my two week notice. The employer instead had me leave the job 2 days after I turned in the notice.
    At this time I had almost secured another job, but the funding for it fell through the week after I left my former employer. I filed for FL unemployment, and then filled out a fact finding sheet because I quit. I received one check. Several weeks later my unemployment was denied and have been told I have to repay the one week of unemployment I received. My reason for denial was “quit due to dissatisfaction with the work schedule, not attributed to the employer. Work schedule was in the agreement of hire.” this is untrue and I never did agree or sign anything stating that I agreed to part time employment. I have filed an appeal but am unsure about it and do not have an attorney to go with me, nor can I afford one. My question is, do I have a leg to stand on? I am discouraged, still unemployed almost out of money to live on.

    • Fwiw, it is very common for employers to engineer a discharge after FMLA. Whenever employer contests, 99% of the time the claim is initially denied. Examination of the events leading to your quit (actually this was a discharge) can only be adjudicated at appeal.

      In reality, you’ve experienced a material change in the original employment contract. You may win at appeal if you document and present carefully the chronology of events which led to the hours change and, essentially, the employer’s discharging you from your full-time position, and offering you instead new, unsuitable part-time work. This is the basis for your good cause quit, supported by the United States Department of Labor, here:


      No matter federal law is clear on this, all the states routinely deny initially, but these cases ARE won at appeal.

      FL’s benefit is so low and for such a short period, hopefully you’ll find work soon.

  • JLQ

    I resigned and gave 2week notice but was asked to leave the next day. Am I elegible for unemployment for those 2 weeks ? Thanks.

    • You should be, but FL has an unpaid waiting week, so the best you can expect is one week’s benefits. You’ll be long at your new job before FL resolves this b/c your employer will say you quit, you will have to explain the circumstances when FL interviews you. When you apply, say you were discharged. Let the employer allege the quit. Chances are you’ll be denied and need to appeal to get that one week.

  • Maire Sezso

    I am wondering how it is that Florida state law mandates minimum wage of $8.05 per hour (except for tipped staff, whose rate must still equal the state’s minimum rate with tips) yet pays a weekly maximum of $275 per week which amounts to $6.87 per hour for a 40 hour week.

    If every legal worker in Florida earns $8.05 per hour and both the employer and employee pay into Unemployment benefit system, shouldn’t the unemployment benefit keep pace with current minimum wage and/or the CPI at the very least? How does the state get away with this when an employer wouldn’t?

    • No state pays benefits on the basis of minimum wage. Each state has its own formula for determining benefit calculation and sets a maximum $ amount on the benefit as well as maximum number of weeks paid.

      You just happen to be in the worst state in the country for unemployment benefits – not only does FL pay only $275, benefits today are only paid for 13 weeks, shortest among the six worst states, to wit:

      AL – $265/wk – 26 weeks
      AZ – $240/wk – 26 weeks
      FL – $275/wk – 12-23 weeks (determined by state unemployment rate)
      LA = $247/wk – 26 weeks
      MS – $235/wk – 26 weeks
      TN – $275/wk – 26 weeks

      Live in a low-tax state red state, expect very minimal safety nets. Contrast that w/MA which, with dependent benefits, can pay over $1,000/mo. for up to 30 weeks. You get what you pay for.

      FL is a magnet for retirees who don’t want to pay state taxes. Thus, your unemployment benefit. A fairly accurate list of current benefits paid throughout the country, here:


      As a rule the wages in the higher tax states are considerably better – allowing more tax revenue and a better and wider range of social safety nets/benefits overall for their citizens.

  • jeaninne mack

    I was laid off on Dec 2nd due to a company restructure. I have not file for employment yet, as I a line on 2 jobs. Is there a deadline to apply for benefits, as i do not want to miss out on my benefits, should this job fall through. Thank you.

    • Apply now so as to keep as much of your past earnings in your base period as possible. You can claim benefits until you start the new job. If you lose the new job within the next year, you can reopen this claim.

  • Sophia

    If your employer suddenly closes the office for 2 weeks or longer at a time forcing you to use any PTO days you have remaining or off without pay for that time if you don’t have any PTO days left, can you file for unemployment for those 2 weeks?

  • Joseph

    Is unemployment eligibility only good for 13 weeks? on the website it says 26 weeks. Can I re-apply after the 13 weeks has ended? How can i Find out??

    • FL does not pay more than 13 weeks’ unemployment benefits in any one 52-week period aka as the Benefit Year. Low and/or very short payment of unemployment benefits is an issue in every low-tax southern state. Low taxes come with a price.

      Sorry to say, there are no further benefits available to you for another nine months, or until your benefit year expires. Meanwhile, you need to find another job – and if unemployed at the end of the current benefit year, reapply for a new claim at that time. Meanwhile see your FL social services for additional help.

  • Allie W.

    I have been on leave for medical reasons since August 2016. I have used up all of me medical leave with my employer and they are threatening termination if I do not return. My doctor has advised me to find a job that I do not have to work on my feet for 10 hours a day ( which is my current job) because my condition will only worsen if I continue to work on my feet for extended periods of time. This is the company’s doctor that is suggesting this they are still threatening termination. Will I be able to file for unemployment if terminated for this reason? I can still work ,just not in a job standing. Also, my disability policy has run out as of December, so I will not be collecting anything on that.

    • Yes, you qualify for benefits. Your medical condition is beyond your control. Be sure you have a good record of communications with your company on your disability and your need for a position which doesn’t require standing. Know that FL’s benefits are only $275/wk for about 13 weeks.

  • Joe

    If I had a full time job I was layed off at and I have claimed and been approved for unemployment, I have been getting payments.and just got a part time job only working 3 days a week.can I continue to claim my last week of unemployment payment because it’s only a part time job

    • Submit a claim, report the earnings even though you may not be paid for two weeks or longer. Know that unless gross pay for that three days’ work is less than your weekly benefit, FL won’t be able to pay you. Nonetheless, claim that week. Let FL determine if you qualify for a partial benefit that week.

  • Jason fuller

    I filed for my unemployment and they said that I am eligible. I went and put down my two weeks worth of job searchs in the computer. I’ve been to the unemployment office on Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach 7 times already and have not received money yet. I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt and wait one more week and then after that I don’t know what more to say. I’ve tried all I could try I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do I can’t continue to keep going to the place when I don’t have any money. I told the lady there that the vehicle I have cost a lot of money to run and I don’t have a job so therefore I can’t afford to go there every day 40 mile round trip. So far I have traveled over two hundred and eighty miles for nothing. I’m up against the wall and I’m scared for myself big time! This is money that my employer wanted me to receive because of the way I was let go ( no fault of mine). When they did let me go they are shirred me that I would receive unemployment because they pay into it every week. And that is money that they will never get back in less of a time like this when it is needed.

  • Leah

    I was recently was let go from my Job and I have a couple different questions. I was a salary employee and for the past 4 years my employer was deducting my doctors appointments from my PTO. I was told by someone that this is illegal, is this correct? Also when they let me go I was told I would get one weeks severance (but wouldn’t give that to me in writing) and he still owes me $500 in commission. I don’t have anything in writing regarding payment of commission but I can show proof that he has paid me in the past. Is he obligated to pay me both?

    • The purpose of PTO is to provide time off for any reason – medical, vacation, personal. Your employer is absolutely within its rights to deduct doctor appointments from PTO. Employer is not obligated to pay severance. Employer is obligated to pay any commissions due.

  • Cindy Dobson

    Can I get unemployment benefits for missed work during hurricane Matthew. My employer was closed due to the storm for 3 and half day?

  • Francesca Bishop

    I am wondering if I file a claim and I work two different jobs in one year and get paid for only one of the jobs can I refile for the job that I didn’t get benefits from.

    • No, you have to wait a year. You are only allowed one FL claim per 52-week period. For example, if you apply now, FL bases a claim on wages July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016. That claim’s benefit year is Oct. 2016-Oct. 2017. Any wages earned after June 2016 can be used in a second claim in Oct. 2017 PROVIDED you’ve worked and earned new wages during the current benefit year. As you may know, FL’s maximum benefit is $275/wk for only 12 weeks.

  • Ashley Nieves

    Hello. I have a question. I havent filled out my taxes this year. I had to take fmla and short term disability because i slipped and fell at a store. So on wednesday i received a called from my HR department letting me know that i was being terminated because they couldnt do the extension of my fmla thru ADA further than wednesday. I am desperate because of my bills are starting to pile up, but i wanted to know if it is safe to file for unemployment even if i have not yet filed this yrs taxes?? Please advise asap!!!

  • Lizzie

    If your employer has mentioned for the past two (2) weeks that he/she is in a very difficult financial situation with his personal checking account being overdrawn and no monies are coming in, and telling his employees he/she might not be able to cover salaries for the coming week since he has no money. (Granted, it is very true his account is negative, but also comments made as threats to employees in order to push productivity to enlist new business) Does this qualify for filing as unemployment?. Further, it should be noted, the employer does not ethically or legally run business “above board” so to speak.

    Do these things qualify for leaving an employer and filing unemployment to seek other employment opportunities?

    • Your employer hinting he may not be able to pay is not good cause. When the day arrives that he actually does not pay you or states definitively that he will not be able to pay you, then you have grounds for a quit. If employer is breaking the law and asking you to do the same, this, too, would be grounds for a quit – but expect employer to contest and you will need to appeal. FL’s benefit is very low – $275/wk for 13 weeks – so factor that into any decisions you make.

  • Susan

    I have claimed approx a third of my available $ benefits with proper work search data.
    With 7 more weeks of $ to claim.

    A seasonal employer would like me to start on October 24.

    Will I be able to continue to collect if I enter this date into PROMISE HIRE DATE?
    Does the promise hire date – replace the 5 work searches normally needed?

    • You keep filing claims for each of the weeks you do not work. Stop claiming when you start the job. Do not enter anything into the “Promise Hire Date.” Doing so may stop your benefits. No, “promise hire date” does not replace five work searches. You need to continue to conduct work searches until you actually start this job on October 24th. A “promise” may never materialize.

  • Ed

    If my unemployment runs out and I do not have a job yet can I reapply for additional help?

  • Michael

    I have been unemployed for 3 months, I was finishing up school and thought I had a job lined up but things fell through. Is it too late to file for unemployment? Is there a time limit in which you must apply for it?

    • You can apply as long as there are wages in your base period to support a claim. If you have a long work history, you could conceivably apply a year after layoff and still be eligible. By all means, apply now.

  • I filed for unemployment the day after I was fired and have been waiting for a response for 1 week. When I log-in to UI Connect Online it says in Messages, “Your application for unemployment benefits has been received and is being processed.” I cannot find anywhere where it says approximately how long it will take for a determination to be made – does anyone know? Do I need to wait until it is finished being processed to start claiming or should I be claiming for missed pay now? Thank you in advance.

    • You should claim as soon as the system allows. Depending on the circumstances of your separation, it could be three or four weeks, earliest, before FL can pay benefits. If FL needs to do a in-depth investigation, it may be longer. A Notice of UI Award is not an approval – unless you see money in your account.

  • West

    Hi, Last week my manager came and told me the position I held was being did away with . However they will be reducing my pay rate per hour and expecting me to do the same amount of work. This job is a on call position and when I was hired I was told I would be a full time employee. Last month I worked a total of 40 hours. Does anyone have any advice on my best options?

    • Elgatha Ethel Lee

      No matter if they reduce your hours, if you work 40 hours a week, then you are fulltime… Unfortunately because you worked 40 hours in a month you are under the fulltime level and would be considered parttime. It is my understanding that an employer can not reduce your pay rate, because that is what you agreed to (it is illegal everywhere else, but this is Florida) keep track of your hours, write everything down (document, document, document) it is very important, if you punch a card at the end of the week take a pic of it with your phone and email it to yourself. If I were you, I would contact an employment lawyer and ask a few questions over the phone, just to make sure.

    • Hi, Last week my manager came and told me the position I held was being did away with . However they will be reducing my pay rate per hour and expecting me to do the same amount of work. This job is a on call position and when I was hired I was told I would be a full time employee. Last month I worked a total of 40 hours. Does anyone have any advice on my best options?

      If you can afford to quit, you have grounds to do so and receive benefits – provided you have a work history that can support a claim. You were hired as a full-time worker. The employer has materially changed the conditions of your employment. USDOL considers this a termination of the existing contract and an offer of new work – which since it is part-time is UNSUITABLE.

  • Stephanie Rosa

    Ok… well my story is a long story. I was working for a company that is all about who you know, who you are in good and rubbing elbows with, sometimes even who you are sleeping with. I was put on corrective action for my attendance bc I started dealing with back pain, anxiety and depression again. My paperwork advised them to keep in mind that My medications make me very drowsy. I was at a point with my medications that I would sleep almost all day after work and then I would be up all night. My shift started at 550AM and I would sometimes even fall asleep driving to work. I submitted my original paperwork to the HR office by the due date and it was denied bc they did not submit it to the case worker on time. I was put on corrective action for attendance but told that as long as I maintained my metrics month over month, as well as not go over my approved time off for my Leave of Absence for 3 months I would not have an issue. I made sure not to miss more than my approved time off, I met my numbers, I did all I needed to do. I was having trouble focusing and I explained this to them due to medications. They sent me home one day bc I wasn’t focusing at all. They acted as if everything was fine told me to come in rested the next working day. I was going to take short term disability but decided against it to make sure my numbers didn’t slip. I was told the next day I came to work that I was being separated from the company due to “customer mistreat” bc I supposedly set up a payment arrangement without customer’s authorization with her account information for a future date. I was also told I cursed on the call but not at the customer, more like towards the system for not responding. I was told when I was put on the corrective action that they could have let me go but that I was a good employee and they knew that I was one of the higher producers for my team and decided to go ahead with the corrective action instead. When I was terminated they did not provide me with proof as to what was done wrong. the call they stated I set up without permission the customer had asked for my name bc she was impressed with how simple I had made the transaction for her and customer’s get text messages before they even hang up with details of what happened on the call. She would not have been so happy had I actually done anything she was not OK with. Anyway, they did not provide me any paperwork to sign for the termination. I was not provided the call to listen to, as well as a few days later after the termination I was called by my family telling me they were worried for me bc my supervisor told them that she felt I was going to work under the influence of something and that she wished she could have done more for me. This is confidential information not to be shared outside of management within the company and she told my sister in law, who told my brother in law, who told my mother in law, and well it ended up making it’s way around my whole family and I now have weekly interventions with my family to make sure I am only taking my prescription medications and I have to talk to my aunt every other day who is the unofficial family therapist. I applied for unemployment and based it on job performance on the application. I explained that other reps that have made similar mistakes are simply reprimanded and told not to do it again a proverbial “slap on the wrist” so to speak and other reps that actually use narcotics in the parking lot and talk about it in front of management, they have much worse conversations with customers are simply coached as to what to do from then on, I also included the details about the supervisor spreading confidential information. I am really needing this to get approved as unemployment made me jump thru hoops to get my pin reset. They made me provide ID, SSN card, and marriage certificate to show why my last name was different, I explained to them that I had provided my information to the dept of motor vehicles and I had also provided to the SSA as well as my employer and not sure why they needed it as well. Anyway a month later I am finally provided access to do my initial application for benefits. What do I need to do to make sure I am approved? What possibility do I have to be approved? What can be done?? Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated. srosa0327 at gmail dot com…. or text at 813 527 7331.

    Thank you for reading my life story,

    • What you need to do is apply for benefits, indicate you were discharged. When asked why, state you do not know. Any effort to explain to an interviewer the issues will fall on deaf ears. If you’re lucky, your employer won’t accuse you of misconduct and FL will approve benefits. More likely, employer will accuse you of misconduct, you will be denied, and need to appeal. NOTHING you say to the interviewer will help you. At appeal, you will have the opportunity to present the facts for analysis. No interviewer will do that. So, say as little as possible – or don’t take the call at all. It won’t help you – and you are very likely apt to say something immediately disqualifying which will only make the appeal more difficult.

  • Shae

    I started my claim on the 1st of May, got my first payment last week after giving all the info about places I have applied at for the last two weeks. I do not have the option to do that this week so how will I get paid for this week? It tells me to log back in on June 1 to claim my benefits. So does this mean I only getting benefits every other week? My apologies but I have never had any experience with unemployment before. TIA

  • Allison

    Hi I was wondering if I apply for unemployment can i apply for cash assistance as well through the government? TIA

  • Tom Holliday

    I was fired in Alabama, and am filing for unemployment there, but was told I had to register in Florida because I am currently living here with my son. I cannot seem to understand how to register rather than actually filing for unemployment here?

  • Katie Port

    My friend was discharged from the military with a general discharge. The reason for the general discharge was minor misconduct. About one month after their discharge they applied for unemployment. Their application was approved and they received correspondence stating the first two sets of jobs were accepted but they had to send in their DD FM 214. After they submitted the form they received more mail but they still haven’t been paid. Have they not gotten paid due to the general discharge from the military because of their minor misconduct ?

    • You don’t indicate how long he’s been waiting. Claims processing can take a month at least. With a military discharge possibly longer b/c FL needs to contact the military. If there is too much of a delay, have your friend contact his FL state legislator. He can find his legislator, here:


      Frankly, military people have the option of filing either in the state in which they were discharged or the state in which they live or the state to which they will be moving. FL’s benefit is so low and for such a short period, if your friend was based in another state with a better UI program, that’s where he should be applying.

  • Janet Beeler

    What are the base periods used when applying?
    I know they are different from filing in December or filing in January?

  • sylvia puddie

    I work for a company that will close for the holiday for a week and I am a contractor which I do not get paid. could I claim unemployment for that week?

  • Kim Welch

    I filed for benefits and was denied due to a few dollars short of the “base period requirement”. I appealed to use an alternate base period since it was so close, however was denied again and told to refile. I have refiled, received a denial and appealed again. My appeal has been totally ignored. No communication, no help. It’s like I do not exist. This is unjust. I worked hard all my life and was fired because I called 9-1-1 to help a contractor struck with heatstroke. He was taken to the hospital and I got fired for it since my employer said I should have put him in a car and driven him there. They yelled at me for several days, then denied me access to a working computer program and fired me for “unable to do the job”. I guess I just need to keep praying and trust God Almighty for Justice and financial help. P.S. The contractor was treated at the hospital and he is alive.

  • Sbeth

    I just filed on 11-14-15. I qualify and followed all directions. Test, employment, applications, etc. I see Iam showing the tow weeks, yet they are on hold!
    Please tell my mortgage company my payment is on hold, let’s see what happens. Worst of all, DUKE Energy is charging me a 700.00 deposit fee on top of my electric bill and said,in no uncertain terms, they WILL shut off our electric if I did not pay 1044.00 by the due date.
    Are you fuxxxxg kidding me?? Florida is also at the bottom of the max amt payable. $275/week.
    Merry Christmas to us! Thanks Florida for all you do, I have worked my ass off in FL, non stop since 1985, I ask once for a little help and that is exactly what we are getting,very little help.
    At least take some action and stop DUKE Energy from strong arming us when we are down!

    • Jorge Fernandez

      It’s a real SHAME the way you are treated when have to appeal to a HELP when in need.
      When you have to pay to the administration, it is MANDATORY, IT IS IMMEDIATE; day by day you are deducted FROM WHAT YOU HAVE TO WORK VERY HARD, to pay for having some stability in your life.
      When you are in need, you are treated as a BEGGAR … the way bad people treat beggars, not the godly way …. you end feeling yourself as being MISERABLE.
      See how easy you are told it is “normal” for you to have to wait… EVEN FOR 2 MONTHS! for the help you need to come…
      Yes, people … HUMANITY NEEDS TO CHANGE!

    • Contact your state legislator on your inability to get through or get a response.


  • Rosie

    Why are my weeks on hold. I have filled out all the information required. I took the ISR. I registered for Workforce. I received a letter advising that I’m eligible for the max for 14 weeks. I’ve claimed 4 weeks thus far and every time I check online each one of these weeks are on hold. Why? Isn’t there a time limit to when you must pay. If there’s a time limit to appeal, there should be one for receiving payment. I’ve applied to about 30 different jobs both on line and in person and have reported these. Why the delay? When can I expect payment? What should I tell the electric company when they shut off my power or my landlord when they try to evict me for nonpayment of rent? I need answers. Calling the 800 number is useless. Twice I waited on hold for 2 hrs just to be able to speak to someone. They didn’t have any info for me. What’s going on?

    • Bri

      Hi Rosie – We are sorry to hear you’re experiencing difficulties with Florida’s Unemployment Insurance program and are frustrated with not having received any weekly benefit payments. Unfortunately, most claimants have to wait weeks to hear back on their application status, weekly benefit amounts, and receiving payments. The first week in which you apply for Florida’s Unemployment Insurance program is called your “waiting week” which means you will not receive any benefits for that week. Because Florida requires you to file biweekly benefit claims, that means you must wait an additional two weeks after the initial week before filing your biweekly claim. After you file that first biweekly claim, you should expect to receive a benefits payment within a week or two.

      36.7% of first-time unemployment payments are made within 7 days of the waiting week period
      62.2% are made within 14 days
      76.1% are made within 21 days
      81.8% are made within 28 days
      85.3% are made within 35 days
      88.3% are made within 42 days
      91.5% are made within 49 days
      100% are made within 70 days – which means that the maximum time period Florida’s Unemployment Insurance program may take to make the first-time weekly benefits payment is 70 days.
      Source: http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/btq/btqrpt.asp

    • good morning rosie, “I understand how you are feeling. I am going through the same thing right now, as of today. I file for my benefits, and I keep getting denial letters. I am currently under my doctor’s care. I resign from my previous employer to medical reason. I file recently for my benefits, now, I have a ” WAITING WEEK “….then a week is on hold. my landlord, Is tripping, I may Have To Move ….I know GOD Is In Control Of It all. I pray Rosie, that things work out for you as well. ” KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, GOD HASN’T FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU MA’AM “…..BLESSINGS TO YOU

    • rick

      Hi Rosie, hope you finally received your money.
      If its any consolation I’m in same predicament..including first waiting week, I have 8 weeks showing hold.
      Inept aren’t they…please let me know your outcome.

  • Donna Alimonda

    I spoke to someone lst week and she said the only thing missing was I had to upload a resume,which I did. Now I get a letter from you denying my benefits because of an incomplete work history. I have been calling the 800 number to no avail. Seriously, this is why our State is rated the worse in the nation. I’m leaving this comment in hope that someone can contact me so I can get this resolved and begin collecting m y benefits.

  • I need to refrained my last question I meant to say if I have not worked in Florida since jan 12 2014 n my wages are in other states can I file in Florida

    • Where you live does not determine where you file. Further, you don’t want to file in FL. FL pays a very low benefit for a very short period of time, vying with AL, AZ and MS for low, low benefits. If you have a chance of benefits in a higher-paying state, apply there, first. If you file in May 2015, your claim will be based on wages earned Jan-Dec. 2014. Therefore, you file in the state where you last worked or the state to which your employer reported those wages.

  • If you have not worked Florida since jan 12 2015. Your wages are in other states and you live in Florida can you file your claim in florida

    • yasser rabello

      You are gonna apply for unemployment on the state you worked for, it doesn’t matter where you live as long as you are claiming the benefits every week inside USA and if you are not current employed.

    • @dawn – depends in which state you last worked – and which state has a record of your wages. FL pays a very low benefit for a very short period of time. If you have a chance of benefits in a higher-paying state, apply there, first.

  • I was wondering if you are employed and get paid commission do you qualify for unemployment?

    • Kamera

      UNEMPLOYMENT…. You are employed so you won’t qualify.

      • You can collect unemployment if you are unemployed OR underemployed. If you’re eligible for $275/week and only earn $100/week you can still get the difference ($175). You shouldn’t answer questions unless you know what you’re talking about……its all there in writing. Usually when someone wants to appear funny or intelligent, they wind up making a fool of themselves, its hilarious how many people will answer people ignorantly…..LOL.

    • If you are paid on W-2, it may be possible. If you are paid on 1099 not. FL is a difficult state. Commissions may not be recognized.

  • hello i am trying to make my claim but cant make because i keep getting a message to contact you at the 800 number i tryed but cant get thru to you please call me asap when you get this 9043869474

  • will I got fired because I was be accused of pepped spraying a residence, I talked to the police, I done talked to the Human Resource, plus I done talked to oasis about was going on and all they talking me is to talk to my boss and he said to me to look for a different job so I am looking for same help now with everything. It just crazy now my boss being up a taser but I use that for a flash light, plus for safety at night, because I have hurt me back and need that around for safety. So the only people I having talk to is DCF and they want talk to me about what going on . I work for 9 mouths and this the first time I every in life want thought this. My number is 386-307-7995 call anytime.

  • I William Cokotis was forced to put info beginning date of 12/1/2013- 12/7/2013 as the system had these dates as for week to claim should have been 12/8/2013 thru 12/14/2013

  • I’m leaving this comment to ask for some assistance with my unemployment claim. I’ve been waiting over 6wks. now an no payment has been issued at all , and no one has contacted me at all. I’m needing some one to please contact me an explane to me about my problem with my claim. Contact no:813-263-3709. Thank You .

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