To establish a monetarily eligible unemployment compensation claim, a person must have worked and earned wages during the first four quarters of the previous five completed quarters prior to filing a claim. This period of time is called the base period. The base period changes every three months at the beginning of each new quarter starting in January, April, July and October.
To qualify monetarily, a person must:
- Have been paid wages in two or more calendar quarters in the base period;
- Have total base period wages of at least 1-1/2 times the wages in the quarter having the highest earnings;
- Have at least $3,400 total wages in the base period.
- This calculation is automatically done at the time you file your claim.
For claims filed during April, May and June, 2008, the base period is January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007. To calculate the weekly benefit amount, use the quarter in the base period with the highest earnings and divide the earnings by 26. This number is your weekly benefit amount. The minimum weekly benefit amount is $32 and the maximum weekly benefit amount is $275. To calculate your maximum available credits, you divide your total base period wages as shown on your Wage Transcript and Determination by four (4). This number is the amount you have available to receive providing you meet all other eligibility requirements. The total amount of available credits can range from a minimum of $850 to a maximum of $7150.
After the monetary determination is issued, then the reason for separation from the last employer must be reviewed with the claimant and employer to determine eligibility for benefits. If you have not earned seventeen times your weekly benefit amount with your last employer, the reason for separation from your next to the last employer may also affect your eligibility for benefits. An individual can receive benefits if separated from the job through no fault of their own.
An individual may be eligible for benefits if the discharge was for reasons other than misconduct. Misconduct is defined as intentional or controllable acts or failures to take action, which show a deliberate disregard of the employer’s interest. Inefficiency, unsatisfactory job performance, inadvertencies or ordinary negligence in isolated instances or good faith errors in judgment or discretion are not deemed to be misconduct within the meaning of the law.
If an individual voluntarily quits, a disqualification must be issued unless you can prove good cause for leaving. The law provides that good cause may only consist of a cause attributable to the employing unit, illness or disability of the claimant, recall by the claimant permanent employing unit within six calendar months of a temporary termination or the military transfer of a spouse.
The claimant must also be able to work, available for work and actively seeking employment to be eligible for benefits. Agency regulations provide that to be considered available for work a claimant must actively seek work in a manner customary to the occupation in which work is being sought. The claimant must be without undue restrictions that lessen the chance of becoming re-employed at the earliest possible time. All claimants are required to keep a record of their work search contacts while receiving unemployment compensation benefits. This information must be recorded on the Work Search form (Form AWI-UC 20A) which is available on line http://www.floridajobs.org/Unemployment/uc_claims_app_forms.html and is also provided in the Florida Unemployment Compensation Program Booklet which is sent to all claimants. Individuals claim weeks of unemployment on a bi-weekly schedule and answer questions concerning their availability for work. At any time during the claims series, the claimant may be requested to submit their list of job contacts.
Periodically during the claim series, an eligibility review notice, AWI Form UCB-231 is sent to the claimants concerning continued eligibility. You must complete the form and return it to the claims taking hub address indicated on the form. When you submit the completed form, you must also include your Form AWI-UC 20A which lists your job contacts. This form will be reviewed by agency personnel and if additional information is needed you will be contacted.
The best way to file a claim is by telephone or by internet.
How do I file for unemployment benefits?
It will take about 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete the claim for unemployment compensation online.
File Online Here:
Before filing your claim you will need to have the following information available:
- Your correct Social Security Number.
- The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all your employers since 10/1/2007. (Site or Location address and Payroll address from W2 or pay stub, if available.)
- The dates you worked and gross earnings from each employer. If you were employed for more than one year with an employer, the approximate gross earnings with that employer for a recent one year period.
- Earnings for this week since 12:01AM Sunday, if you worked this week.
- Driver’s License or State Identification Card Number, voter registration number or other type of ID that could verify your identity.
- The name and local number of your labor union hall, if applicable.
- If not a U.S. citizen, your Alien Registration Number and work permit expiration date.
- If you were on active military duty within the last 2 years, certain information from your member 4, DD-214. You can file, even if you do not currently have your member 4, DD-214. NOTE: No benefits are payable until after your official military discharge date as shown in item 12b on your DD-214.
- If you were a federal employee within the last 2 years, your SF-50 form or SF-8 form and check stubs or W-2 proof of earnings.
- If you would like for your benefits to be deposited directly to your bank account, you will need to have one of your checks or deposit slips available.
The Florida Law provides that making a false statement, knowing it to be false, in order to obtain or increase unemployment benefits, is a Third Degree Felony and is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and/or up to five years in jail. Each week of benefits claimed is a separate offense for prosecution. All cases determined to be fraudulent can be referred to the State Attorney’s office for prosecution.
If you give false information or a false Social Security Number when filing your claim, you could be arrested for fraud.
If you experience any difficulties with this system, send an email or call 1-800-204-2418 from 8-5 Eastern Time M-F.
Unemployment Office Contact Information
Toll Free: 1-800-204-2418.