UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

What is the minimum income to qualify for unemployment benefits in Florida?

The Sunshine State offers state-funded jobless support to out-of-work residents, but there are some eligibility conditions for claimants to satisfy.

The Sunshine State offers state-funded jobless support to out-of-work residents, but there are some eligibility conditions for claimants to satisfy.
SPENCER PLATT AFP

Florida provides a state-funded unemployment insurance programme for residents who have lost their job, been placed on furlough or had their hours cut through no fault of their own.

The programme is called Reemployment Assistance and the state has made some changes to the eligibility requirements to make it easier for those suffering due to the pandemic to get support. The mandatory waiting week has been removed and self-employed workers and independent contractors can now access the payments.

However the minimum entry requirement has remained, meaning that you must have earned at least $3,400 before tax in your ‘base period’. The State of Florida Unemployment Guide defines this as “the first four complete quarters beginning 18 months prior to your claim.”

What are the full eligibility requirements for Florida Reemployment Assistance?

The minimum income threshold is far from the only condition on receiving unemployment benefits in Florida. You must also meet the following criteria to get the support:

  • The loss of employment must not have been your own decision. You can get Reemployment Assistance if you lost your job due to poor performance, but not if you quit for personal reasons or were terminated for malicious misconduct
  • You qualify if you are either partially or totally unemployed (partially unemployed means that your hours have been reduced or you are a part-time worker who is unable to find additional work)
  • You can only receive Florida jobless support if you are able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work.

For more information on the eligibility requirement, contact your local CareerSource Florida centre.

How to file for unemployment benefits in Florida

As well as satisfying those criteria, jobless support claimants in Florida must also provide a variety of personal and employment details to support their application. The claim should be filed on the state’s CONNECT site, in the My Florida Unemployment sub-section.

To do so you will need to provide the following:

  • Social Security number
  • Contact information (names, addresses and phone numbers) for all of your employers from the last 18 months
  • The dates you worked and amount of wages received for each employer from the last 18 months
  • The amount of pre-tax wages earnt for the current week (starting at 12:01 am on Sunday on your first week of filing a claim for unemployment support)
  • Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license
  • The name and number of your local labor union, if you are a labor union member
  • Your Alien Registration Number and work permit expiration date, if you are not a US citizen
  • A DD-214, if you were a member of the military within the past two years
  • Your SF-50 or SF-8 and check stubs or W2 proof of earnings, if you were a federal employee
  • You will also need to provide a check or a deposit slip if you want your benefits deposited directly into your bank account