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

98 Responses to “How to File an Initial Claim in the State Of Florida”

  • I am looking for job but at this time I need to file unemployment.

  • Dustin Guy says:

    Am I gualified for extended benefits?

    • Nick says:

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  • Glynn Birch says:

    i’d like to apply for unemployment

  • JOHN R. JOHNSON says:

    I was laid off from employment on 7/6/17. My employer is based in Oklahoma while I personally reside here in Florida. I was paid by direct deposit and received an annual W-2 form.

    I contacted the Oklahoma unemployment office and my SS number was NOT registered for benefits in their state. They said to contact you personally and see if my SS number was registered for benefits here in my state of residence (Florida) – which they should be. Can I please contact someone in your office so they can look me up by SS number to see if I am in your system before I go through the process of application online?

    If my benefits were NOT registered with you, the state of Oklahoma wants me to report it. Please respond to this eMail or by phone. Thank you.

    • Jacob says:


      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have any links with the Unemployment Office or Govt. authorities. Please call the Unemployment Office to report.

  • Toni says:

    If the company moves further away and is too far to travel which in turn causes some to resign is this a qualified reason for unemployment benefits as long as the other factors are met?

  • Charles Brandt Mazeroski says:

    I can’t find ehe form to initially apply for unemployment

  • Kim says:

    I lost my job about a month ago, and been busy applying for jobs. It didn’t occur to me to apply for unemployment since it was a part-time job. Is it too late?

    • Jacob says:


      You can still go ahead and claim UI benefits. To qualify, a claimant is required to have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. Please speak to the Unemployment Office before applying.

  • Barbara Wilson says:

    Employyed with Marriott for 19 years as a banquet server. Last date worked was February 22. All work booked thru March has been cancelled until May or later. Looking for temporary financial assistance

  • Andrea says:

    I am self employed and work in sales that takes social approach. Due to the COVID-19 my sales are extremely affected. Please explain how to file?

  • David Hailey says:

    Laid off from work on 3-20-2020

  • Jennifer M Olmsted says:

    Im trying to apply for unemployment benefits, but when I enter my pin the website says for me to call this number, and the number just hangs up on you. Please help me. How do I get my PIN reset?

  • Mary Centofanti says:

    I would like to know how to apply for unemployment.

  • Gail Farquhar says:

    You will not accept my SS number as valid. It is and I can’t get though on the phone. Please help 561-758-6437

  • Varina Williams says:

    To whom it may concern,

    I filed for unemployment last Wednesday.03/18/20.
    I would just like to confirm that my application was submitted and being process.

    Thank you,
    Varina Williams

  • David Helmuth says:

    I was hauling for an auction company, now the auctions are canceled so am unemployed until the corona restrictions are over.

  • Nancy Olevson says:

    Since the day I registered the message I am getting is that I am not authenticated. My claimant IG is 558-8830. I’m sure this is a mistake because I’ve been working for many years and I need to receive a check. Nancy Olevson

  • Gary Hendrickson says:

    If you are working on a 1099 contract basis, does the Covid emergency relief bill provide for eligibility to apply for unemployment icompensation on Florida or the enhanced unemployment coverage benefit. Is there a way to apply for some firm of disaster relief unemployment due to Covid 19?

    If there is a way for a 1099 contract worker father, with unemployed wife and 3 small children to apply, could you please advise or recommend how to proceed?

    Thank you for your help in this request

  • richard ayala says:

    i looking for a jop but at this time ineed to file unemployment.

  • Jammie Chauvin says:

    I am a small business owner that has a seasonal business. I had to close my business one week after our season started due to the corona virus. My business is seasonal and closes at the end of September each year. How can I receive benefits due to having to close my business till we can re-open?

  • Susan Cutaia says:

    I was let go due to current Coronavirus situation. I am p resident of Florida but worked for my company both in Palm Beach FL and Nantucket MA.
    How do I file and in which state?
    Thank you,

  • Gloria says:

    connect.myflorida site error when filling out application. If I start over, will the ID# from 1st attempt be void?

  • Roosevelt Kingdom, Sr. says:

    I am a school crossing guard and schools are closed because of the corona virus so I am out of work

    • Jacob says:


      Please apply for Emergency Benefits online right away. You should be elgible to receive it.

  • Juanita E Grosch says:

    I have been trying to process an application for 6 days morning noon and night the system is confusing to navigate – will accept information on a few pages and then flips back to the beginning I have filled out the same pages probably 10 times. I was assigned a claiment ID # at one point consequently trying to fill out the remainder of form pages. This morning I tried again and now the system informed me that there is no claim associated with the claimant number. There is definately a problem with the system – also have called the help line 1-800 – 204- 2418 no help unless you have been approved other help line 1-800-681-8102 rings and then hangs up. Probably called these numbers 25 times

  • Jennifer says:

    I have a small part time job for a dentist(2 hours a week), she closed, laid everyone off and offered us unemployment. I filled out the application and it is pending. I also have my own business as a vendor to preschools, which are all closed now. I just found out that The CARES Act includes self employed people. I had no idea I would be included(self employed 34 years) How do I add or make corrections to my current claim?

  • Mary Pamela Brown says:

    I have let go of my job since 03-21-20. I have been to get benefits since then. I think I am getting the run a round with people!! I am single and trying to survive with this crap going on. so Please help me!! Thank You Mary Pamela Brown

  • helen dineen says:

    hi Ihave been trying to connect to for several days. I have been getting to the area thar is asking for my personal info.when it gets to my drivers license it says it is not a valid text.does not go any further.i have checked with the MVD they said it is vaid. sent me a letter of proof. where do I go from here. thankyou so much

    • Jacob says:


      The documentation received by you should have the procedure. Please login again to find a direction.

  • Mona says:

    I tried reseting my pin unsuccessfully
    I am locked out of the system
    and can’t get through to anyone on the phone

    • Jacob says:


      Please try looking up for an option online. The phone lines will continue to be busy/unattended.

  • I’ve been trying to apply for 2 weeks

  • dustin says:

    this is a sham….it should not be this difficult if the Governor mandated all non mission essential companies and personnel to quarantine for 30days.

    we were led to the kool=aid and are drinking it. Absolute biological virus killing ppl just by talking to a positive person, and this is how difficult and waiting time for money that has already been paid to the state, but it has to go to all financial aid ie…ssa/ssi first, so we wait????

  • Need to Apply for unemployment, but can’t get through on Connect, so paper had an article
    this morning stating Florida was having a problem with this site, and to go on line to and obtain forms then mail. I have been unable to find the forms. Please, any help would be appreciated.

  • Need form to be able to file for unemployment. Can’t get through on the website. Really need help.

  • Walter Tabaka says:

    Please email paper form for un-employment befits.
    Need application form for my un-employment befits.

  • Juanita c salas says:

    I am unemployed , and need to file my claim

  • Christopher Papaleo says:

    I’ve been trying file my unemployment online and it’s tell me that I must be to represent I have tried repeatedly to call with no response

  • On my recent unemployment application, I mistakenly listed my first day of unemployment as 3/23/20 instead of 3/22/20. How can I get my application error corrected so I can activate my rightful benefit weeks of 3/22/20- 3/28/20 and 3/29/20 – 4/4/20? I did not work or earn money on 3/22/20 as my employers dental office was temporarily closed the prior week due to corona virus. My claimant benefit weeks won’t activate and I get a message to contact the agency to correct the date.
    I can’t get through to an agent by phone or online and I can’t edit online.
    Please help.
    Thank you,

  • John Guthrie says:

    I completed he initial for all that was need to be done.m about a week ago and did not realize I did not complete. I was unable to follow up the last couple of days, since the sight was down. When I tried today I was locked out. My claimant # is 2020-01. How do I get my pin reset and back on the system?

  • SUE says:


  • Eval Cesaire says:

    Hi my name is Eval Cesaire my claim number is 5590981
    I been claiming my week payment since 3/31/2020 since then I never receive my check and all my bills are due and I don’t even have any money to even buy food to put in the table can you guys please bend my check as soon as possible thanks

    • Jacob says:


      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim file. You can check your status online.

  • I guess you mean the website. I applied over a week ago and cannot get logged back in to check status of my claim. All I’m getting is “Runtime Error”. This is absurd. This means your website is not functioning.

    Please do not tell me to log in again to check my account because it indicates “Runtime Error”. Do something!!!!!

  • Jerri Ferrante says:

    How do I file interstate unemployment? I live in Ga now, but not long enough to get unemployment here. I need to file through Florida.

  • Beverly says:

    What if we don’t get in for a month or two can we back file for those weeks?

    • Jacob says:


      You might not be able to backdate the claim but surely claim for the future. Please consider applying.

  • Eileen Ivory says:

    I have been trying to get on line for 3 weeks I cannot get anywhere on my computer I have even tried to download an application and all I get is not responding I am going to need to pay my bills soon and I cannot get any thing done. All we ever get is download how I got here I don’t know. You have made it absolutely impossible for us to apply for unemployment

    • Jacob says:


      Please specify the exact nature of the problem. You might not be able to get through with support due to limited staff.

  • Alan Murray says:

    Hello, I made a comment earlier today. I mentioned that I did not have my claim number, I found it and will provide. My next questions are 1) I mailed my application in for unemployment benefits on April 3rd. When I just looked on the portal it states that I am not registered “Please explain” Claim #6048639. 2) As I mentioned earlier, My app does not have my income from my main employer. It does have my part time posted. How can I update?

    • Jacob says:


      Have you logged onto your account online to check for the relevant option? You should see an option to “edit” it.

  • ANGEL ALICEA says:

    I have applied for unemployment. I had to do a printed copy of the form and submitted but I have not have any contact nor anyone call be about my status . I’ve been furlough since the beginning of the month of April I am now out of money and is getting very frustrating and stressful . I am a single person don’t have any other income but from work . Please help.

    • Jacob says:


      There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

  • Karla says:

    I have been trying to file since 3/28 frustrated as all the other, what is going to take national news and legal to get help for the people that have paid into unemployment?
    we pay you all take and when we need it nothing , no calls no letter , no email.

    I did have an aid of a congressmen reply back but never replied to my question after that..

    there has to be a fix, and you ant say there is not pp out that that can me trained to help look at the unemployment numbers, at least let go of our 600.00 its not your to keep.

  • I have a full time essential job but have lost my gig income from shows that I do weekly. I need the money in order to stay afloat as the business have not opened and even if they do not sure if they can afford to pay in the beginning. What do I do?

    • Jacob says:


      Please go ahead and consider applying for the PUA and UI benefits until the situation normalizes.

  • William Nikolas says:

    My name is William Nikolas, I have been trying to call your office and cannot get thru or even leave a message. I just keep getting disconnected. Please help.

    • Jacob says:


      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claims file. You can try calling during non-peak hours.

  • jaime vado says:

    I filed a paper uemployment form via library in the mail since march 20 2020 like to know whats the status on my application

    • Jacob says:


      Please check the claim status online. There will be an intermittent delay due to number of applications.

  • Kerry says:

    I have a small tearoom opened a year and a half. I have been closed since Mid March. I am the only employee. It has a gift shop so I can’t open yet. Do I qualify for unemployment?

  • Sharon says:

    I was let go due to COVID-19 but I am receiving severance. Do I file for unemployment now or when severance is done?

  • EDWARD SMITH says:

    I have been informed that effective July 1st, I am being furloughed for a maximum of 90 days. Will I be required to job search during this period of time knowing I will be going back with my current employer? I will be going back to work at reduced pay, can I collect benefits to offset the reduction in salary?

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