Florida Unemployment Benefits Guide

If you are new to Florida unemployment benefits and would like to learn more, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you are getting ready to file for unemployment or you are currently receiving benefits and want to learn more about how the program works, we can help.

In this post, we will explain in detail how the Florida Unemployment Insurance (UI) program works and what you need to do to submit a successful application.

First, we will explain what Florida Unemployment benefits (reemployment assistance) is about and who is eligible.

Next, we will walk you through what you need to apply for benefits and how to apply.

Also, once you have applied for benefits, we will explain in detail what happens next.

Additionally, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about Florida unemployment benefits, including how much you are likely to receive and how long benefits last, what you need to do to stay eligible for benefits, and how to contact DEO.

Continue below to see our complete guide.

"Florida Unemployment Benefits"

About Florida Unemployment Benefits

Florida Unemployment benefits are part of an employer-paid program that provides temporary, partial income replacement to qualified individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

Employers pay unemployment insurance taxes and reimbursements that support unemployment benefit payments.

A common misconception about the Unemployment Insurance program is that employees pay into the program while you were working. That is not true.

Rather, Employer taxes pay for unemployment benefits.

Employees do not pay unemployment taxes and employers cannot deduct unemployment taxes from employees’ paychecks.

In the state of Florida, the Unemployment benefits program is also called Reemployment Assistance.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) manages the Reemployment Assistance program.

You may file a claim for unemployment benefits in Florida if you meet eligibility requirements established under Florida law, in accordance with federal standards.

To see if you are eligible for Florida Unemployment benefits, continue reading below.

Who is Eligible for Florida Unemployment Benefits?

There are FOUR criteria that you must meet to be eligible for unemployment benefits in Florida:

  1. You have lost your job through no fault of your own, and you did not quit for personal reasons or were terminated for misconduct;
  2. You must be totally or partially unemployed;
  3. Must have a minimum amount of wages earned in what is called the “base period,” which is the first 12 months of the past 15 months from when you filed your claim;
  4. At the time you apply, you must be able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work, unless otherwise exempt from this requirement.
    This includes being physically able to perform a job and having childcare if necessary.

When Should I Apply for Florida Unemployment Benefits?

You should file a claim for Florida unemployment benefits as soon as you become unemployed.

When you apply for unemployment benefits, the effective date of your initial claim is important because that is the date that is used to determine when your benefits begin.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) cannot pay benefits for weeks before your claim effective date.

How to File for Unemployment in Florida

Filing your unemployment claim in Florida will go faster if you have the following important information before you begin:

All Individuals

  • Social Security number.
  • Driver’s License or State ID number.
  • Employment information for the last 18 months for each employer.
  • Employer identification number, also known as FEIN number, if available. This number can be found on your W2 or 1099 tax form.
  • Employer name (name on pay stub), address, and phone number.
  • First and last day of work.
  • Gross earnings (before taxes) covering the last 18 months.
  • Reason for separation.


  • If you want to use direct deposit, you will need your bank account number and routing number (otherwise payment will be sent via FL Unemployment Debit Card).


  • Your Alien number and expiration date from your Employment Authorization Document.

Former Federal Employees

  • Your SF-50 form, SF-8 form, pay stub(s), or W-2 (if you worked in federal employment within the past two years). If this information is unavailable, you may provide it later. Please proceed in filing your claim.

Former Military Personnel

  • If you were in the Military, you will need information from your DD-214 Member 4. If this information is unavailable, you may provide it later. Please proceed in filing your claim.

Union Members

  • Your union name and local number (if you are a member of a union)

Apply for Florida Unemployment Benefits?

There are multiple ways to submit an application for Reemployment Assistance.

1. New applicants can complete an application online at FloridaJobs.org.
2. You may complete a paper application by following the steps online at FloridaJobs.org and by mailing your application to:

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
P.O. Box 5350
Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350

3. CareerSource centers throughout the state can offer assistance with paper applications.

Please visit CareerSourceFlorida.com to find the location and contact information for your local career center.

If you have questions or need assistance completing your application online, you can contact DEO at 1-833-FL-APPLY (1-833-352-7759) for assistance.

The video below, from the Florida DEO provides a great summary of how to apply for Florida Unemployment benefits online.

We highly recommend you watch the video if you plan to apply for benefits online.

What Happens After I apply for Florida Unemployment?

Here’s what happens after you submit your application for unemployment:

Request Benefit Payment

After applying for benefits, you need to request benefit payment in CONNECT on a biweekly basis (every two weeks).

It is important that you request your benefits within 7 days of your scheduled date regardless of your claim status.

The CONNECT home page will provide you with your scheduled report date.

You will use the “Request Benefit Payment” link on your home page. This link will not appear until your scheduled report date.

Click here for more details.

Begin your work search

You must begin searching for work immediately.

In Florida, generally, you are required to provide five work search contacts for every week of benefits you request from DEO.

DEO will review your application

The Florida DEO will review your application and confirm the details of your application with your former employer.

DEO will send a Monetary Determination

This notice tells you how much you’ll potentially receive in unemployment benefits.

Respond to DEO Questions/Letters

If the DEO has more questions about your application, you’ll receive a fact-finding questionnaire requesting information from you.

You must respond to this questionnaire by the deadline specified.

Failure to respond may result in disqualification from receiving benefits.

Appointment with your local CareerSource office

You may be selected and scheduled for a mandatory appointment with your local CareerSource office.

It will provide one-on-one services to help create a reemployment plan.

Your appointment notice will be mailed to you, so please ensure your address in both CONNECT and Employ Florida is up-to-date.

Failure to participate in your scheduled appointment will result in a review of your eligibility and potentially delay or deny your unemployment benefits.

DEO will send a Non-Monetary Determination

This notice tells you whether you’ve been approved for unemployment benefits.

If your application is denied, you can appeal the decision within 10 days.

Click here for information on how to appeal a DEO decision.

Receiving your benefit payments

If determined eligible, you will receive your benefit payment according to the payment preference that you selected upon applying for benefits.

After your first payment, you will receive benefits via the debit card unless you set up a direct deposit to a checking or savings account.

How do I Contact Florida Unemployment?

Here’s how to contact the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) regarding unemployment benefits:

Contact the Reemployment Assistance (RA) Help Center 1-833-FL-APPLY (1-833-352-7759)

You will first be connected to the Interactive Voice Response system and presented with several self-service options.

If you still need further assistance, you may select to be transferred to the RA Hotline to speak with a Contact Center representative.

RA Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

  • Access information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Listen to important program messages
  • Listen to detailed claim information including; payment status, determinations, and appeals
  • Change correspondence preference, payment method, and tax withholding option
  • Update CONNECT PIN

RA Hotline:

  • Staffed Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM until 6:30 PM EST
  • Information about filing a Reemployment Assistance application
  • Ask questions about requesting benefit payment
  • Obtain detailed information about your account
  • All other inquiries

Reemployment Assistance Help Center

The Florida DEO recently launched a Reemployment Assistance Help Center, an online portal where claimants or employers can receive and provide additional information to the Department regarding Reemployment Assistance.

Individuals can also notify the Department of suspected Reemployment Assistance fraud or identity theft.

Click here to go to the Reemployment Assistance Help Online Portal.

The tweet below from the DEO provides a list of tasks you can perform using the Reemployment Assistance Help Center.

Florida Unemployment Debit Card Questions

For questions about your Florida Unemployment debit card, contact customer service by phone at:

U.S.: 1-833-888-2780
International: 1-210-334-6615 (This includes Puerto Rico. This line is not toll-free.)

Florida Unemployment FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about Florida Unemployment:

See our full list of FAQs here.

How much is unemployment in Florida right now?

The maximum unemployment benefit available to individuals in Florida is $575 a week, or about $22 per hour, through September 6, 2021.

After that, the maximum weekly benefit for individuals is $275 a week, or about $7 per hour.

How long Can You Collect Unemployment Benefits in Florida?

Florida currently provides up to 19 weeks of unemployment for claims filed after January 1, 2021.

Can I work part-time and collect unemployment in Florida?

Yes. However, if you take a part-time job while on unemployment compensation benefits, the work and gross earnings must be reported on your weekly certification.

If you earn as much as your weekly benefit or more, no payment would be made for the week.

But if your earnings are less than the weekly benefit amount, the first $58 would be discounted and the remainder deducted from the weekly benefit amount, according to Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation.

The difference would be your unemployment payment for that week.

How long does it take to get approved for unemployment in Florida?

How long it takes to receive Florida Unemployment depends on several factors including the depth of the issue being reviewed.

Usually, it takes between three to six weeks.

Due to the high volume of claims as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some cases may take longer than six weeks to resolve.

Does Florida unemployment pay weekly or biweekly?

In the state of Florida, after you have filed your initial application for unemployment benefits, you must file a certification for each week in which you are totally or partially unemployed.

How do I file my Bi-Weekly Benefits in Florida?

After applying for benefits, you need to request benefit payment in CONNECT on a biweekly basis (every two weeks).

It is important that you request your benefits within 7 days of your scheduled date regardless of your claim status.

The CONNECT home page will provide you with your scheduled report date.

You will use the “Request Benefit Payment” link on your home page. This link will not appear until your scheduled report date.

Click here for more details.

The video below from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity provides a great summary of how to request your benefit payments.

Florida Unemployment Benefits Summary

We hope this post on Florida Unemployment Benefits was helpful.

Still Have Questions?

To go to the main Florida Unemployment page, click here: Florida Unemployment.

Also, for our detailed Florida Unemployment FAQ Page, click here: Florida Unemployment FAQ.

Additionally, if you need to contact Florida Unemployment Customer Service, click here: Florida Unemployment Customer Service Live Person.

To login to your CONNECT account and view your benefits, click here: Florida Unemployment CONNECT Website login.

Lastly, if you have further questions about Florida Unemployment, Unemployment Benefits, or Unemployment Debit Cards, you can fill out the comment form below and we will answer your question ASAP.

Be sure to check out our other articles on Unemployment Benefits, including:
Whether Unemployment Benefits are Taxable
List of States Extending Unemployment Benefits
Massachusetts DUA Unemployment Debit Card
How to file for Unemployment (in all 50 States)
Unemployment office Phone Number (All 50 States)