To be eligible to receive unemployment insurance in Florida, you must meet two general requirements:

You must have been sufficiently employed and earned a specific amount of wages and also have an acceptable reason for leaving your last job.

You should contact the State of Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation either online, via telephone or in person at one of the 24 One-Stop career centers and apply for insurance benefits as soon as you become unemployed. Your application will help the agency determine whether you meet the requirements and how much you are eligible to receive.

When you file for unemployment insurance, the calculations as to whether you meet monetary requirements will be done automatically, but overall you must have:

1. Earned wages in the first four of five quarters previous to filing your claim. This period is referred to as your “base period.” Quarters are three-month periods which begin in January, April, July and October

2. Earned wages in at least two of the quarters in your base period
3. Earned a total amount in your base period that is at least one and a half times greater than your highest earnings in one quarter
4. Earned at least $3,400 during the total base period

To be deemed eligible for unemployment insurance, you must not have separated from your last job due to misconduct. If you quit your job, you must be able to demonstrate good cause for doing so. After you file a claim, the State of Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation will deem whether you are eligible for unemployment insurance after reviewing information from both you and your employer.

In addition to meeting the monetary and separation requirements, you must also be willing and able to work. During your period of unemployment, you must continue looking for employment and may be asked to prove that you are doing so.

You should file a claim with the State of Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation as soon as possible after becoming unemployed. If you are deemed eligible to receive unemployment benefits, there is a one week mandatory waiting period for which you will not be paid. You can file a claim online through the State of Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, or by calling 1-800-204-2418 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. You can also pick up an claim booklet at any one of the 24 One-Stop career centers in the state. The claim booklet contains the application form you will need to fill out, which you can then mail to the address provided once it is complete.

To file a claim, you will need the following information:
• Your Social Security Number
• The names, addresses and phone numbers for all the employers you worked for during your base period
• The wages you earned for the week in which you are filing if applicable
• Your drivers license number, state identification card number or other piece of government-issued identification
• Your Alien Registration Number and date of work permit expiry if you are not a U.S. citizen
• Your labor union hall number and name if you are a union member
• Your bank account information if you wish to sign up to have your benefits deposited directly to your account
• Earnings information from your member 4, DD-214 if you were an active duty member of the U.S. military during the two years prior to filing your claim
• Your SF-50 form or SF-8 form and check stubs or W-2 proof of earnings if you were employed by the government during the two years prior to filing your claim

Inside Florida