How to File an Initial Claim in the State Of Florida

Florida is one of the few states in the country to have low unemployment rates, hovering around the national average. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity administers the Reemployment Assistance Program which provides unemployment insurance benefits for up to 19 weeks for jobless workers who have been out of job due to no fault of their own. The approved monetary benefits should be claimed online on a weekly basis by the claimant.

Tools For Your Assistance During The Application Process

Eligibility Calculator: This easy to use tool runs your through a set of questionnaire and ascertains if you can be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

Points to Keep In Mind Before Filing an Unemployment Insurance Claim

  • Its advisable to initiate the claim to receive unemployment compensation during the first week of your unemployment.
  • Claims can be filed online on the department’s portal and at dedicated centers.
  • Use resources that help you understand the procedure and documentation. Keep information handy before initiating a claim.
  • If you’re receiving severance pay after separation from work, you will still be eligible to make claims. File one during the first week of total or partial unemployment.
  • After you file, you will be required to wait for about 3-4 weeks before you receive the first payment. If there are issues with your paperwork, the representatives will come back to you.
  • Post approval, you’re required to file weekly and claim benefits for the approved weeks. These payments are disbursed quickly unlike the initial claim.

florida unemployment benefits

Eligibility Criteria to Claim Unemployment Compensation in Florida

  • The reason for separation from the last job should be involuntary which implies, you must have not lost the job through a fault of yours such as misconduct, underperformance etc.
  • The claimant should be able and available to work. He/she should be actively seeking jobs. and should be willing to accept a suitable job offer.
  • Unemployment must be total or partial.
  • The wages earned during the base period should meet the minimum criteria. The base period is the first four completed quarters beginning 18 months prior to the claim.

Details You Need to File A Claim

  • Social security number(SSN)
  • Alien registration number if you’re not a US citizen and papers that prove that you’re legally allowed to work in the country
  • Date of birth with proof
  • Home address and telephone number
  • Last day of employment
  • Extensive details such as name, address, position held, period worked, reason for leaving etc. of all the previous employers in the last 18 months prior to the date of filing employment.  
  • If you’re claiming for reduction in working hours, details of the same.
  • Members of the labor union should provide name and number of the local union hall
  • DD-214 form if you were in the Military.
  • Former federal employees should produce Form SF-50 or Form SF-8 along with documents supporting proof of earnings.
  • Check or deposit slip for direct deposit into your banking account.

How To File Weekly Claim?

Online: By logging onto, you will be able to make a claim in minutes. As a beginner you will be asked to read through pages of information  that will assist you in filing the claim. We suggest that you read the key points in these pages instead of skipping them.

Via One Stop Career Center: If you have any questions on filing or need a computer to file, visit the nearest center for support by representatives.  

Following claims will not require registration. You can provide the User Id and Password to log in and make weekly claims.

Note: The first week you file is considered as a Waiting Week and no benefits will be paid out during this week. Once the claim is accepted, it takes about 3 to 4 weeks for your claim to be processed. Subsequently, weekly claims do not take much time to be processed and disbursed.

Other Forms of Unemployment Benefits in Florida

  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • Weatherization Assistance Program
  • Florida Hardest Hit
  • Community Services Block Grant Program

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