How To File For Florida Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Florida. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Florida Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Florida unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

Filing a Florida unemployment claim

You can file a claim online via Florida's CONNECT claims system. If you are seeking Reemployment Assistance Benefits, please click here to access the CONNECT system to file your claim. If you cannot file a claim online because of legal reasons, computer illiteracy, language barriers, or disabilities you may call 800-681-8102. Your claim can be filed by phone 8:00am to 5:00pm EST Monday through Friday. Your claim is effective Sunday of the week you complete your application. By state law, the first week of a claim for which you would have been eligible for payment is an unpaid week. This week is considered your waiting week.

Claims are filed online through their CONNECT system. If you need assistance or have questions about your claim, you can contact them by e-mail or by phone at 800-204-2418. If you have a claim, please use the e-mail address you have provided in CONNECT. If you need assistance looking for work or a computer to file your claims, you can use your local CareerSource Florida office. Many locations offer additional services such as computers for your use, fax machines, copying services, and more.

The CONNECT claims system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact Center hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm EST, Monday through Friday.

Information needed when filing a claim

Before filing, make sure you have the following documents available:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver's License or State ID number
  • Your employment for the last 18 months including for each employer. This includes their name, address, and phone number. First & Last day of work. Gross earnings (before taxes are taken out) during the listed dates. The reason for separation. FEIN number (this is found on any W2 or 1099 tax forms you have received). If you don/t have the FEIN, you can use employer details off of a recent paystub

Additionally, if you are one of the following, make sure you have this additional information available:

  • Not a US Citizen: Alien Registration Number or other work authorization form
  • Military Employee: DD-214 Member 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 may be used
  • Federal Employee: SF 8 or SF 50
  • Union Member: Union Name, Hall Number, & Phone Number

After completing unemployment benefits claim

You are required to complete a few additional items after completing your application.

Request Benefit Payment

You are scheduled to return to the CONNECT system every two weeks to request your benefits. Completing this process submits your request for payment during your weeks of unemployment, even when your claim is pending for review. It is important that you request your benefits within 7 days of your scheduled date regardless of your claim status.

Workforce Registration

You are required to register with the Employ Florida. When creating (or updating) your EF profile, you must provide a valid e-mail address, upload or create a current resume, and complete the background history on your profile.

Work Search Contacts

You are required to provide five work search contacts for every week of benefits you request from the department. Report these contacts during your biweekly requests for benefits.

Any incomplete fact-findings

During the initial processing of your claim, many reviews occur regarding your eligibility for benefits. You will be mailed correspondence or sent an email reminder to check your CONNECT inbox based on your selected contact method. Please complete any requests for information as soon as possible. Any correspondence received via mail can be completed online. You can fax completed forms to 877-934-1504.

Watch for your notice of monetary determination

This notice will provide details on the amount of benefits you can receive per week (weekly benefit amount), the total balance your claim has (maximum benefit amount), as well as the history of wages that has established your claim.

Appointment with your local CareerSource

After receiving several weeks of benefits, you will be scheduled for a mandatory appointment with your local CareerSource. 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 your Employ Florida profile are up-to-date. Failure to attend your scheduled appointment will result in a review of your eligibility and potentially delay or deny your benefits.

Request unemployment benefit payment

After applying for benefits, you need to request benefit payment in CONNECT on a biweekly basis. 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. For each week of benefits that you are requesting, you will:

  • Answer several yes or no questions regarding your ability, availability, and efforts to look for work
  • Provide your required work search contacts for the individual week
  • Report any earnings, tips, or commissions from any work for the requested week

It is extremely important that you request your benefits timely during any standard reviews. You are responsible for requesting benefit payment on or within 7 days from your scheduled report date. Failure to request payments timely will result in the loss of payment for the given week(s). In CONNECT you can do the following:

  • Update account and contact information (including payment method)
  • Review monetary, child support, and issue summaries
  • View benefit and payment histories
  • Access your CONNECT Inbox to see correspondence records

File an appeal

An appeal hearing is scheduled when you or an employer disagree with a Department determination and wish to have a hearing with an appeals referee. To protect your rights, participating in the hearing is important, even if the other party filed the appeal. The decision from this hearing will replace the determination that was appealed.

How do I file an appeal?

You must request an appeal hearing within 20 calendar days after the distributed date of the determination. If the 20th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday you may file the appeal the next business day. You may submit your request for an appeal by mail, fax, or online through CONNECT. Please complete a Notice of Appeal for your request by mail or fax. Please use the CONNECT guide to file online.

How do I file a late appeal?

If you miss the 20-day period and would like to request a late appeal, you may fax the request to 850-617-6504 and include justification for the Late Appeal.

How do I know an appeal was filed?

You will receive notification in your CONNECT inbox or by mail depending on your correspondence preference.

Should I continue to request benefit payment?

Yes, as long as you are unemployed, even if a hearing was requested or held, a decision was issued, or an appeal was made to the Reemployment Assistance Appeals Commission or Judicial Court. Be sure that you continue to follow all other instructions from the Reemployment Assistance Office.