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How to Apply For Unemployment Benefits in Florida

Dena Standley | March 15, 2024

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Apply for UI in Florida via CONNECT online within a week of unemployment. To apply, create an account or call 800-681-8102 for assistance. The process is mobile-friendly, takes an hour, and requires your SSN and PIN.

The Federal government works with the state of Florida to assist workers who are unemployed for reasons beyond their control.

The Florida Reemployment Assistance (Insurance) Program helps residents care for their financial needs until they find work. The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is responsible for this program.

It is a temporary arrangement lasting up to 12 weeks. But it does offer aid to struggling individuals and families by providing a continuation of some income while they search for other employment.

Florida, like all other states, has a standard application procedure. Below, we’ll take you through the qualifications and requirements and show you how and where to submit and follow up on your Unemployed Insurance (UI) application.

Get debt relief in Florida.

Who is eligible for unemployment benefits in Florida?

According to the official website for the Florida Reemployment Assistance (Insurance) Program, anyone wishing to apply for UI must:

  • Have worked in Florida for (at least) the past 12 months.
  • Be currently, wholly, or partially unemployed.
  • Earn a specific minimum wage (as determined by Florida law) during the base period.
  • Actively look for work while receiving benefits.
  • Be able to work.

These are just the basic requirements. Every claimant must provide the necessary documentation and employment information to qualify.

What documents do I need to claim unemployment benefits in Florida?

Thankfully, the documents you need to prove your eligibility are straightforward. They are:

  • Your personal information, such as name, date of birth, level of education, gender, and race.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your Florida ID and driver's license numbers.

Non-US citizens also need:

  • Alien Registration number, or
  • Work authorization form

Military employees need:

  • Their Discharge from Active duty (DD-214)

Union members should provide the following:

  • Union name
  • Hall number
  • Phone number

Federal employees must present the following:

  • Their SF 8 or SF 50

In addition to these documents, all claimants must provide information on their last 18 months of employment. This includes the following:

  • Employer names, addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Dates of first and last day of work.
  • Gross earnings (before taxes) during employment.
  • Reason for job loss.
  • Employer's Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN).
  • Employer details on paystub if they don't have a FEIN number.

With your documents in hand, you are ready for the next step. You can begin the application process and submit some documents later. But it is best to get everything in one place for a smooth process.

How to apply for unemployment benefits in Florida

You should start applying for UI within a week of unemployment or partial layoff.

In Florida, you submit claims online. You need to create an account before submitting your application.

But you can call in to speak with someone if you are disabled, illiterate, or have difficulty understanding English. The agency's phone number is 800-681-8102.

The state has developed a mobile-friendly website that is accessible to most residents. It takes just up to an hour to complete the application. And you can save your progress and continue later if you are interrupted. Keep your pin and social security number handy whenever you log in.

Go to CONNECT, Florida's Unemployment Insurance system, to file a claim. Fill in your information and supply the information required at every step.

When you are sure you have sufficiently completed the claim application, click submit.

Below is an example of someone qualifying for unemployment benefits in Florida.

Example: Jake had worked as a hotel concierge in Florida for three years. Unfortunately, he lost his job in May 2021 because of staff reductions related to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jake had never applied for unemployment benefits before. However, he was excited when he logged into the site and noticed that he had met the basic requirements. And he was delighted when the DEO approved his claim.

The lesson? You will never know if you may qualify unless you file a claim.

What should I do after applying for UI in Florida?

Now you need to wait for the department to review the information you sent and determine if you qualify.

As you wait, log into your account regularly to check your claim's status. See whether the agency has asked you for more information or documentation. If they have, provide these as soon as possible.

You also need to register with Florida's workforce agency (Employ Florida Marketplace). Remember, you need to be actively seeking employment to qualify for benefits.

If the DEO rejects your claims and you feel it is unfair, you can appeal the decision. You need to do so within 20 days of receiving the notice.

If your claim goes through and you are approved for benefits, you will receive payments a week after the approval. Keep in mind that these are not automatic payments. You must log in and request benefits each week. You must complete a short survey each time you request payment to determine if you still qualify for the payout.

How much can I receive each week on unemployment?

Florida's Unemployment Insurance offers one of the lowest weekly benefit amounts in the country. The state provides a minimum of $32 and a maximum of $275 each week. Though the maximum unemployment amount is small, every little bit can significantly help when you are out of work.

It is important to remember that unemployment benefits are intended to supplement only some of your lost income. Instead, it is meant to be a short-term solution to help keep you afloat while you find new employment.

If approved, you will receive a maximum of 12 weeks of benefits or $3,300 (whichever expires first) in a year in unemployment benefits. After that, the benefits stop. You may use up your yearly benefits at once or save a portion in case you fall into unemployment again during the year.

The benefits can also stop if you get a job. Remember that you can keep receiving the benefits if you find a part-time job that pays less than $275 a week.

Also, your benefits will stop if you fail to meet the continuing eligibility requirements.

The department lets you know when there are benefits extensions or changes in eligibility requirements.

Why you should apply for unemployment benefits

Although no one wants to apply for unemployment, it is a welcome solution for many. Knowing that you can afford groceries while looking for work gives you peace of mind. And you can better concentrate on your job hunting.

You may apply online if you are unemployed or furloughed and think you deserve unemployment benefits. It takes only a fraction of your day and can help you stay afloat until you can find your next job.

SoloSuit's goal is to provide all the information you need to stay financially healthy. Check out the blog for all things debt collection and lawsuits.

Check out this video to learn how to respond to a debt lawsuit in Florida:

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