Eligibility for Unemployment Insurance in Florida


“What are the requirements to get unemployment insurance (UI) benefits?” is a question on the minds of recently unemployed workers. Unemployment insurance eligibility in Florida is under the management of the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). Known as the Reemployment Assistance (RA) program, the qualifications for unemployment compensation are dependent on both personal and vocational information. Many residents do not know how to qualify for unemployment benefits although this insurance is publicly available. For comprehensive information on the financial assistance programs available in Florida for unemployed individuals and low income households, download our free guide here. To find out how to qualify for unemployment in Florida, review the following topics:

  • Who qualifies for unemployment in Florida?
  • What are the requirements to get unemployment in Florida?
  • How to qualify for unemployment in Florida after enrollment

Who qualifies for unemployment in Florida?

DEO officials determine who qualifies for unemployment insurance compensation in Florida. Determining an individual’s eligibility for unemployment is dependent on three key factors; reason for termination from employment, time employed and wages earned. Eligibility for UI in Florida stipulates that employees must have become unemployed through no fault of their own. Workers fired for misconduct or who quit do not qualify for unemployment compensation. However, employees meet qualifications for unemployment if they experienced a laid off due to downsizing, poor performance or lacking the skills necessary to perform the job. Likewise, employees who quit due to medial reasons may still be eligible. There are even specific unemployment compensation benefits for former service members and federal civilian employees.

Eligibility for unemployment in Florida extends to workers if a company becomes insolvent or relocates away from the current location. Qualifications for unemployment in Florida will also recognize the instance when an employee leaves employment due to a hostile work environment. Workers wrongfully terminated from employment can file a claim against former employers.

Florida unemployment insurance eligibility is also reliant on the claimant earning enough wages in a certain period. Wage requirements are the most complicated of the qualifications for unemployment examined by the DEO. Unemployment claimants must have worked in Florida during the past 12 to 18 months, which DEO calls the ‘base period.’ The base period will include the earliest four quarters of five complete calendar quarters. Workers must have earned wages in at least two of four calendar quarters and wages earned during the entire base period must be above a certain minimum amount. To meet qualifications for unemployment, the total earnings of UI applicants during the base period must be at least one and a half times higher than the wages earned during the highest-paid quarter. Interested applicants can click here to download our Florida guide to find out more about calculating employment compensation.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Florida?

Workers who meet the basic qualifications for unemployment mentioned above must also follow the ongoing requirements to collect benefits. To continue to meet the unemployment insurance eligibility requirements, RA enrollees must look for work. All UI claimants learning how to qualify for unemployment insurance in Florida must registrar for Employ Florida. By creating an account online, UI claimants have access to many beneficial employment assistance resources for Florida residents.

Eligibility for UI compensation also requires claimants to keep a record of job applications and contacts. DEO continually keeps track of who qualifies for unemployment with weekly eligibility claims. Every two weeks, or biweekly, Reemployment Assistance enrollees fill out and submit a request for benefit payment. A portion of the request mandates proof of job searches. Claimants who do not furnish evidence of seeking job opportunities will become ineligible for RA funding. Likewise, UI enrollees who do not complete the required biweekly eligibility claim will also lose compensation. Unemployment insurance eligibility in Florida is an enduring status that obliges claimants to pursue job opportunities actively.

How to Qualify for Unemployment in Florida After Enrollment

In addition to the requirements for continual eligibility of unemployment benefits, RA claimants must be available for employment opportunities that may become vacant. Some unemployment insurance eligibility questions on the biweekly claim form ask workers if they attend school, training or experienced an illness that prevents them from accepting employment. Conflicts with school schedules, issues with childcare or transportation may negatively affect eligibility for unemployment compensation. Unemployed residents who experience a disability or long-term problem may be eligible for other financial assistance programs in Florida.

Committing acts of fraud will make claimants ineligible for UI compensation. One form of unemployment fraud which will impact a person’s eligibility for unemployment, is failure to report wages earned while receiving unemployment benefits. This crime can lead to loss of eligibility for unemployment benefits, prosecution and even jail time. RA enrollees who earn wages must report them to DEO, as the agency will deduct these earnings from the UI payment. However, earning wages will not automatically disqualify claimants, as the Reemployment Assistance program also covers underemployment or partial unemployment. For more information about UI compensation and part-time incomes, download our comprehensive Florida guide here.

What Assistance Benefits Does the Department of Children and Families Provide?

Various assistance benefits are available to residents of Florida through the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Families can receive benefits that allow them to buy nutritious groceries, save money on school lunch for their children and obtain temporary financial assistance. Additionally, petitioners who qualify for one assistance program are also typically eligible for other benefits in Florida. Find out how to qualify for benefits through Florida’s DCF and how to apply for them by downloading our comprehensive guide.

Who Can Receive Assistance Benefits in Florida?

Each assistance program offered through Florida’s Department of Children and Families has various eligibility qualifications that petitioners must meet in order to enroll. Household size and income are only a few factors that are typically taken into account. For more details on eligibility for Florida DCF assistance programs, download our guide.