How To Apply For Unemployment In Florida
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has changed the term “unemployment compensation” to “Reemployment Assistance Benefits.” The message is clear. Florida is strongly enforcing the work search requirement and you will be required to provide proof of your job search activities when you submit for weekly payments. Here are some links to help you get a better understanding of what the guidelines are:
You will need to open an online account at the Florida DEO Connect website to file your initial claim. You can also file by telephone by calling 800-204-2418.
Filing Requirements and Documentation
To qualify for reemployment assistance, you must have an employment history going back eighteen months, a valid social security number, and Florida driver’s license or state ID. You’ll also need to provide the following when you make your initial claim:
- Name, current address, working phone number
- Exact dates of employment (first and last day)
- Earnings before taxes (Gross) for period stated above
- Reason for termination of employment
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) for your employer
The employer FEIN can be found on your W2 or 1099 tax form. You can proceed without it, but claims are likely to be delayed without this number. To ensure prompt processing to receive your benefits quickly, spend some time and find the FEIN before filing.
Calculating Your Weekly Payments
The amount of your reemployment assistance benefit check will be determined by a formula applied to your total earnings for the first four of your last five quarters of work. Your highest quarter in that period will be divided by 26 and you will receive the lower of that number or $275 a week, the Florida state maximum reemployment benefits payouts.
The maximum time period you can receive RAB payouts is twelve weeks and the maximum amount you can receive is $3300. There will be a “waiting week” in which you will not be paid, immediately following your initial claim, but that week does not apply to the maximum week requirements. There are no RAB extension plans available in the state of Florida.
Disability and TAA Education Programs
The federal government offers additional assistance if you are unable to return to work after your maximum RAB payments have expired. If you are disabled and unable to return, contact the Social Security Administration to ask about disability payments. You may want to look at this before you file a claim for RAB payments, since disability is not considered unemployment.
The United States Department of Labor offers a program called Trade Adjustment Assistance. If you’re looking to change professions and need additional education or training to do so, this is a good place to start. There are also a number of affordable online educational programs available from local colleges and universities.
For additional assistance if you’re experiencing a financial hardship, check out Benefits.gov for more federal programs or dial “211” on your phone to reach your local United Way.
Florida Unemployment Insurance Program
- Florida has multiple means of filing an Unemployment Claim Online:Â https://covid19.floridajobs.org/ Paper Application:Â https://covid19.floridajobs.org/ Coronavirus update: Florida is providing updates on Unemployment Insurance changes related to COVID-19 here: Visit Website
- To file a claim by telephone number: Visit Website
- General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program: Visit Website