Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements including:
- be unemployed by no fault of your own
- must have earned eligible wages, worked the first 4 out of the last 5 completed calendar quarters
- must be able and eligible for full-time work
How Do I Apply?
Within a week of being unemployed, you want to submit a claim on CONNECT. To submit a claim, the State of Florida advises that you should have the following ready:
- Social Security number
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of past employers (for the last 18 months)
- Dates worked and total wages from each employer (last 18 months)
- Gross earnings (pre-tax wages) for the current week (your first week being claimed for unemployment)
- ID — such as a driver’s license, state identification, voter registration number, or any other type of ID used to verify your identity
- The name and local number of your labor union hall (if applicable)
- Non-U.S. citizens need an Alien Registration Number and work permit (including expiration date)
- If you were in the military within the last two years, you need your DD-214 form
- Past federal employees need a Form SF-50 or Form SF-8 with check stubs or W2 (proof of earnings)
- If you want your benefits directly deposited into your bank account, you’ll also need a check or deposit slip
How Do I Calculate My Benefit? What Can I Expect to Receive?
To calculate the amount you would receive, take your highest earning quarter and divide the earnings by 26. This amount is your weekly benefit. Keep in mind there is a minimum and a maximum for unemployment. The minimum benefit is $32 per week, and the maximum is $275.
When Will I Get My First Unemployment Check?
Once your claim is filed, you’ll get confirmation that it was received. For claims that are accepted, the first payment arrives in approximately 3-4 weeks.
If your claim is denied, you may file an appeal online but you must do so within 20 calendar days. You can also file an appeal via mail. It’s important to know that even though you’ve been turned down, you must keep filing your claims every other week. If you win your appeals, you will only receive payment for the weeks you filed.
What Is Expected of Me As I Receive Benefits and How Long Will I Receive Them?
You will need to file every two weeks to remain eligible. During this time, you must look for, and be available for full-time employment. The state requires you to keep a log of your job hunting activities. The expectations are that you will contact at least 5 employers each week inquiring about job opportunities and applying as available. You must also complete an online skills assessment. The state requires you to accept “suitable” work as you find it.
Is your unemployment situation a result of discrimination or harassment? Were you fired after returning from FMLA? If so, unemployment compensation may not be your only recourse. Contact us at Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. to discuss your employment law situation.