How to Apply for Florida Unemployment Pay

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If you lost your job and intend to file for unemployment in the Sunshine State, you may file an unemployment claim using Florida's Agency for Workforce Innovation online application or via telephone. In order to qualify for Florida unemployment benefits, applicants must lose their job through no fault of their own and remain ready to actively seek and accept a new job. If you are unsure if you qualify for Florida unemployment, the AWI encourages unemployed Florida residents to complete an unemployment application to determine eligibility.

  • Visit Florida's AWI website at floridajobs.org to file an unemployment claim online, or call Florida's unemployment compensation hotline at 800-204-2418 to file your claim via telephone with a live UC agent. The online claims system is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. However, the UC hotline is only available from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

  • Check "Yes" or "No" when asked if you are filing a claim for yourself using the online system, and press "Submit", or simply state "Yes" or "No" to this question when the UC agent asks this question.

  • Enter your Florida residential ZIP code on the next screen, or prompt if using the UC hotline. If you are no longer a Florida resident at the time you file your claim, you must enter the residential ZIP code for your previous address when you lived within the state.

  • Select all the appropriate check boxes on the next screen indicating you have all the necessary information to file your claim and will answer each question truthfully. Press "I Agree," or state that you agree when the UC agent reads application terms.

  • Enter your Social Security number at the top of the application and use the required documents such as pay stubs and W-2s to answer all remaining questions to the best of your ability. Read all answers carefully before proceeding to the next one to ensure your claim processes without any delays. Once you submit your claim, you may not make any changes to your application. It may take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour to complete your claim using either system.

  • Write down the confirmation number you receive when you complete your application using the online system or the confirmation number the UC agent states when she completes your application. If you do not receive a confirmation number, your claim has not processed completely and if you exit the application before receive the confirmation number, you will lose any information you entered into the system.

  • Wait anywhere form three to four weeks to receive your first Florida unemployment check. After you file your initial claim and receive your first check, you must certify every two weeks and detail any income you earned form part-time work and confirm that you are actively looking for employment.

Tips & Warnings

  • Florida's AWI Proclaims that the best time to file an unemployment application using the UC hotline is:
  • Wednesday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., or 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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