Prepare to File for Unemployment in Florida


In order to file for unemployment in Florida, residents must meet the eligibility requirements for Unemployment Insurance (UI). Florida’s governor enacted the name change from unemployment compensation to the Reemployment Assistance program (RA) in order to focus attention on the fact that the recipient of the benefits must actively search for employment. After the loss of a job, the worker should apply for unemployment benefits in Florida within a week’s time. Benefits do not begin until the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) process the application, which can take at least a week. To learn more about where to apply for unemployment in Florida and what happens after submission of the application, refer to the topics below:

  • Prepare to file for unemployment in Florida
  • How to apply for unemployment online in Florida
  • What happens after you file for unemployment claims in Florida

Prepare to File for Unemployment in Florida

To file for the Reemployment Assistance program in Florida, applicants will need to gather documentation. To verify the claims made on the unemployment DEO application, the documents must match correctly against the state’s database. Failure to fill out the unemployment registration correctly can lead to delays or a denial of unemployment benefits. To file for unemployment and complete the application, applicants should have the following information:

  • Personal identification (Social Security card, driver’s license, government ID, passport or birth certificate)
  • Contact information for the employer
  • Dates worked for the employer and the wages earned
  • Union membership numbers, military papers and federal forms as applicable
  • Banking information (deposit slip or voided check)

Claimants who use the online application for unemployment should set aside 30 to 60 minutes to complete the forms. Legal immigrants can file for unemployment in Florida as long as they meet eligibility guidelines same for anyone else residing in the state. Green card holders must submit that information along with their claim. To find out which non-citizens are eligible for unemployment benefits in Florida, click here and download our free guide.

How to Apply for Unemployment Online in Florida

“How can I sign up for unemployment benefits?” is a question many recently terminated workers have. Applicants can file for an unemployment claim in Florida online or over the phone, although DEO is phasing out the phone method by the end of 2017. Claimants wonder where to sign up for unemployment benefits in person can utilize the computers and internet at a local CareerSource office and ask for personal assistance. Applicants should familiarize themselves with the online system, as this will be the method of continuing to request UI compensation in Florida.

Many applicants prefer the online application for unemployment because they can work at their own pace, pause the process in order to look up information and resume filling out the unemployment DEO application later, if the need arises. The online form also allows claimants to file for unemployment at a convenient time compared to telephone unemployment registration, which must take place during hours of operation at the DEO offices. Applicants curious where to register for unemployment online, can file through Florida’s CONNECT claims system. The state of Florida operates a portal that is secure and encrypted so that beneficiaries and claimants do not have to worry about a data-breach of sensitive information, such as the information from documents needed to apply for unemployment compensation in Florida.

What Happens After You File for Unemployment Claims in Florida

The claimant can check on the status of the unemployment DEO application but should wait at least a week before doing so, as it takes at least a week or two for the office to verify information and to upload it into the database. Once DEO approves the online application for unemployment in Florida, they notify the beneficiary by email and by regular mail with a case number or PIN. To receive benefit payment, the Florida unemployment registration process requires approved enrollees to submit a claim biweekly to claim their benefits. Applicants denied unemployment insurance by employer will also receive a notification indicating the reason and the next steps they should take.

During the time that the claimant is receiving funds from the Florida Reemployment Assistance program, he or she will be required to adhere to the rules and regulations. Failure to do so could result in a denial of benefits for the duration of the claim weeks. Enrolled applicants can download our comprehensive guide by clicking here to check on all the mandatory requirements relating to state-run programs.

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.