What are some things I can do to survive job loss?
Did you lose your job? Are you wondering how you’re going to pay for your bills, rent, and even groceries? We can help. Losing your job can be a traumatic experience. And while dealing with the shock, you probably want to know what are the next steps to getting yourself financially back on track.
Learn How To Survive Losing Your Job
During this difficult time, we want to help make the process of unemployment as easy as possible. We want to help answer your questions. We want to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Being unemployed isn’t the end. It’s actually a new beginning.
If you’re reeling from the loss of your job and need help, our goal is to provide you with information to help answers your questions. And if you feel you’ve been wrongfully terminated, give us a call and schedule your free consultation today.
Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
Just because you lost your job, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you qualify for unemployment in Florida. That’s just not how it works. First, you have to determine if you are eligible for benefits. If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you are likely eligible for benefits:
- Do your past earnings meet certain minimum thresholds?
- Have you lost your job through no fault of your own?
- Are you able, available, and actively looking for work?
Monetary determination: If you’re eligible for benefits, a letter will be sent to you listing the weekly benefit amount you’ll be awarded and the number of weeks you’re eligible to receive the benefits. If you file for unemployment and don’t qualify, it will list your sources of income reported and the reason while you do not qualify for benefits. In Florida, your weekly benefit is currently the amount reached if you divide your total earnings for the highest paid quarter of the base period by 26, to a maximum of $275 per week.
What are the monetary eligibility requirements?
- Received wages in 2 or more calendar quarters in the base period (first 4 quarters of the previous 5 completed quarters before filing for your claim)
- Have a total base period wage that is 1.5 times the wages in the quarter having the highest earnings (For example, if you earned $5000 in the highest paid quarter, your total earnings for the base period must be at least $7500)
- Have a minimum of $3400 total wages in the base period
Nonmonetary determination: Eligibility may be based on whether or not your reason for unemployment was voluntary or due to misconduct on your part. Be sure the reason for your unemployment is through no fault of your own, such as layoff, being fired because you are simply not meeting the employer’s performance expectations, leaving work because your spouse was transferred by the military or due to a personal illness or disability.
If you’re not quite sure whether you qualify, we’d suggest you still file an unemployment claim. There’s no harm in making a truthful application if you feel you have a claim.
How to File for Unemployment Benefits in Florida
Before you start the process of filing for unemployment, make sure you’re organized. Here is basic information you’ll want on hand to make the process as easy for you as possible. Don’t get discouraged–navigating the website at the unemployment office (referred to as the Department of Economic Opportunity) can be confusing and time consuming but your attention to detail when you make that initial application will save hours of heartache later if you have to go back to correct errors.
Check out our blog post, How to File for Unemployment and Get It, to help you determine what you’ll need to get started.
Where do you go to file for unemployment benefits in Florida? You can apply online. Just visit Connect.MyFlorida.com or floridajobs.org to start the process. Make sure to have all of your information ready. During the filing process, be prepared to fill out an online skills assessment. This is voluntary, but Florida encourages you to complete this assessment to help you locate employment.
Keep in mind that you must be actively seeking employment and be available for work throughout your claims process and duration of your unemployment benefits. In order to help you locate employment, Florida has set up the EFM (Employ Florida Marketplace). To register, visit EmployFlorida.com.
What to Expect from Your Unemployment Benefits
So, you qualify for unemployment. What’s next? You’ve probably got some questions regarding your benefits. Let’s see if we can help answer them.
- How long will my benefits last? Typically, benefits last up to 26 week or until you’ve gained employment.
- What do I do if I’ve found a full-time job? You’ll need to contact your unemployment office to report your new job and earnings.
- What do I do if I was overpaid for my unemployment benefits? You’ll need to report all earnings, including any unemployment overpayments, so proper deductions can be made and so you can avoid Unemployment Fraud.
What If I Don’t Qualify for Unemployment Benefits?
If you’ve received notice from the unemployment office that your unemployment benefits have been denied, all hope is not lost. You can file an appeal but you only have 20 days to do so. The 20 day appeal period starts from the date of the letter denying benefits NOT the date you read or receive the letter. Check the date on the letter and be prepared to act quickly because all the time in the letter was “in the mail” or even in your mailbox counts toward the appeal period. You can file an appeal online, via phone or fax. A telephone hearing will can be scheduled to reconsider your unemployment claim.
However, in many cases you may find you have been wrongfully terminated, and you may also find you are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits in which case you lose that cushion and need solid advice on options available to you as you face the realities of unemployment. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.
Looking for more unemployment information? Here are some useful links to help you out.
- Benefits.gov – Information available regarding unemployment benefits and other government assistance in Florida
- FloridaJobs.org – Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
- EmployFlorida.com – Employ Florida Marketplace: Resources for job listings, education and training opportunities.
- www.StateofFlorida.com – Florida Unemployment Guide
Florida Unemployment Benefits Resources:
- Florida Calls in Feds to Clean Up Their $6 Millon Mess
- Florida Guilty of Cutting Unemployment Benefits for the Jobless
- Hey Floridian! Don’t Count on Getting Your Unemployment Benefits
- Top Laws that Protect You when You’ve Been Laid Off
- How to File For Unemployment and Get It
Please Note: At the time this article was written, the information contained within it was current based on the prevailing law at the time. Laws and precedents are subject to change, so this information may not be up to date. Always speak with a law firm regarding any legal situation to get the most current information available.