How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Florida
Claiming benefits for unemployment in FL is a simple process if you meet all requirements set by the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity. To begin with, you must have become unemployed through no fault of your own, and thereafter apply for reemployment assistance as soon as you are out of work. You must also have sufficient funds that you have earned during your base period and be considered mentally and physically able to work. Searching for a new job during your reemployment period is mandatory. Note that workers who have voluntarily quit their job or have been fired cannot claim unemployment benefits in Florida.
To apply for federal unemployment benefits, you must prepare certain documents to prove your eligibility. First, you must make sure to claim unemployment benefits in the last state in which you worked. However, you may be able to claim unemployment benefits from several states if you held jobs throughout the country. The FL Department of Economic Opportunity offers unemployed workers a simple, convenient way to file for unemployment benefits claim – online. Applying via the internet allows both applicants and the unemployment agency to go through the procedure quicker. Additionally, applications are reviewed promptly, therefore allowing payments to be released to eligible workers in a timely manner. All new unemployment benefits applicants can use the online system CONNECT to fill out an application. CONNECT will also allow you to view your account information, claim status, benefits payments and more.
When utilizing the online system, you will be asked to input the following information:
• Your Social Security Number
• An identification document, such as a driver’s license, ID card, military ID card or U.S. passport
• Your residential address
• Your phone number
• Your date of birth
• Your employment history, including details about your employers, such as names, addresses, phone numbers, reasons for separation, start and end dates of employment
• Your email address
• Your alien registration number (if you are not a U.S. resident)
• Your bank account number and bank routing number for direct deposit payments
Once you have entered all requested information accurately, you will then be ready to submit your unemployment benefits claim. The FL Department of Economic Opportunity will review your details, and based on the information you provide, it will determine your eligibility and amount of benefits that you will receive.
What Is Continued Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits in Florida?
Once you are found eligible to claim unemployment benefits in Florida, you must follow a certain procedure established by the FL DEO regarding continued eligibility. Thus, you must continue to file a claim every two weeks during your unemployment benefits period. You must also contact at least five potential employers on a weekly basis to show the DEO that you are, in fact, making active efforts to find a new job. Unemployment benefits applicants who are unable to meet this requirement must speak with a representative from the CareerSource Florida Center for further assistance. For your convenience, the DEO allows users to apply for continued eligibility via the CONNECT online system.
Note: In times of high unemployment, all states, including Florida, activate special emergency programs to enable unemployment benefits extension. This type of extension offers unemployment benefits for several additional weeks.
Florida Federal Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes
Federal unemployment benefits in FL are funded by taxes paid by stateemployers, while no taxes are deducted from workers’ wages. However, the Department of Revenue in FL allows claimants to choose whether they would like to pay federal income taxes, i.e. to have an amount be deducted from their reemployment assistance payments. If you initially choose to have federal income taxes withdrawn from your unemployment benefits, but would like to modify that decision, simply access your claimant account via CONNECT and update the claim.