Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) exists to promote opportunities economically for state residents. The DEO implements financial aid opportunities for both workers and students in Florida. With workforce initiatives like the Reemployment Assistance (RA) program that provides unemployment compensation, the state department focuses on economic recovery and reducing the impact of lost employment. In addition to unemployment benefits, the agency also oversees Florida financial aid assistance to students who would like to attend college. Lastly, the DEO in Florida protects workers from illegal terminations and offers unemployment assistance to those wrongfully dismissed from their job within the state. Florida residents interested in a comprehensive guide of Florida-run programs can click here to download. To learn more about the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and its various offices, please refer to the following areas:

  • Student financial aid opportunities in Florida
  • Florida unemployment benefits
  • Wrongful termination procedures in Florida

Student Financial Aid Opportunities in Florida

Financial aid opportunities in Florida assist students with costs to attend state and some private colleges. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity works closely with the U.S. Department of Education to provide federal student aid to eligible candidates. The primary form this assistance takes is through FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which is a student loan, or the Carl Perkins Grant. However, financial aid assistance in Florida also extends to cover workers who would otherwise experience employment layoffs. Employers can apply for short-term compensation in Florida to keep workers during periods of slow business. The DEO also offers tax credits for Florida businesses that employ workers whose barriers to work often make it more difficult for them to find work in the state.

Each of the financial aid opportunities in Florida have separate applications and procedures for applying. All financial aid assistance in the state requires applicants to provide documentation to verify claims made on the application. Residents interested in applying should prepare to gather all necessary documents, as requested. Most financial aid assistance is dependent on an assessment of need and most financial aid awards require income verification. Read More

Florida Unemployment Benefits

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity focuses largely on making certain that state residents are working and that businesses are thriving. To that end, the department oversees and administers unemployment benefits for workers who have lost their jobs because of factors that were out of their control. The DEO determines the eligibility for unemployment compensation in Florida and sets ongoing requirements and the length of time for benefit disbursement. Unemployment assistance in Florida also aims to reeducate and offers the opportunity for unemployed residents to obtain the skills and education necessary to reenter the workforce quickly and efficiently. Find out about eligibility for Florida financial aid programs in our free guide by clicking here.

Workers who receive unemployment compensation in Florida have several guidelines and policies in which they must maintain and adhere. One of those requirements is to actively search for new job opportunities within the state. If the worker wishes to continue to receive unemployment benefits, he or she must also accept a job offer if it is comparable to their previous employment. Unemployment benefits in Florida are only available for a maximum of 13 weeks, but may last as long as 20 weeks in some instances. Read More

Wrongful Termination Procedures in Florida

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity also takes wrongful termination cases seriously. Associated with unemployment compensation claims, employers who illegally fire employers are subject to penalties for discriminatory or retaliatory practices. Wrongfully dismissed employees are typically eligible for unemployment assistance or compensation from their former employer. Florida employees and employers alike can discover comprehensive information about what happens after a wrongful termination accusation within our free guide available here.

As an at-will state, employees seeking Florida financial aid assistance following a wrongful termination will need to be aware of what constitutes as an illegal dismissal of employment. Workers fired because they submitted a claim for worker's compensation, have taken time for a bereavement, short term disability or a medical condition within their immediate family, have grounds for a claim. While the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity considers employees terminated for whistleblowing and other retaliatory reasons as strong candidates for discrimination cases, it is the responsibility of the claimant to prove a violation occurred. Likewise, Florida businesses with fewer than 15 employees may fall under certain exceptions to these employment policies. Before filing a discrimination charge against a former employer, workers should review the process and corresponding factors. Read More