Applying for and Collecting Unemployment Benefits in Florida

filling out unemployment benefits form

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Unemployment benefits offer Florida residents a way to temporarily make ends meet when job loss strikes. Your eligibility for collecting unemployment benefits depends primarily upon the type of employment you’ve held and the reason for separation from your most recent job. You may collect unemployment benefits if you are either unemployed or partially employed. If you're looking for a position, you may want to see if Miami's largest employers are currently hiring.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about unemployment benefits in Florida.

What Are the Financial Requirements for Collecting Unemployment Benefits?

You must have worked and earned wages during the first four of the last five calendar quarters (beginning in January, April, July, and October). These five quarters are known as the “base period.” During that time period, you must:

  • Have been paid wages in two or more calendar quarters
  • Have total wages during the base period of at least 150% of the wages during the highest quarter in the base period
  • Have earned at least $3,400 during the base period

What Are the Job Eligibility Requirements for Unemployment Insurance?

In most cases, you must have been involuntarily separated from your job to receive benefits. Furthermore, that separation must be for reasons other than misconduct. You are eligible for benefits if you were fired for unsatisfactory job performance, rather than “intentional or controllable acts…which show a deliberate disregard of the employer’s interest.” In some limited cases, you may receive benefits if you quit your job, provided you can demonstrate that you meet state criteria.

How Much Money Will I Receive in Unemployment Benefits?

The smallest amount you will receive is $32 per week and the largest benefit you can receive is $275 per week. Your benefits are calculated by taking the highest amount of money earned during any quarter in the base period and dividing it by 26, subject to the minimum and maximum limits of $32 and $275.

Do I Need to Search for a Job While Receiving Unemployment Benefits?

Yes. Those collecting benefits must be able to work and actively seeking work. You will be required to keep records related to your job search and provide those records to the state upon request.

How Do I File a Claim?

The easiest way to apply for unemployment in Florida is to apply for unemployment benefits online. You may also apply via telephone by calling 1-800-204-2418. Mail-in applications are available at Florida One Stop Career Centers.

Other Benefits for Low-Income Families

Low-income families who are eligible for unemployment benefits may also wish to investigate their eligibility for two other government programs: food stamps and Medicaid coverage.

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