Unemployment compensation benefits are based on both federal and Florida Unemployment laws. They’re designed to help you survive financially while looking for new employment after losing your job. Unfortunately, sometimes people are denied benefits simply because they do not know their rights and how the law works.
At the law firm of Myers & Eichelberger we have experienced unemployment attorneys who can help represent you in a telephone appeal hearing before an unemployment appeal referee.
If you have been denied unemployment benefits, you must appeal the decision within 20 days of receipt of the determination. Since time is of the essence in these cases, please contact us at least one week before your hearing if you want to retain us to represent you. Our Orlando unemployment attorneys are ready to help you get the benefits you are entitled to and can answer your questions about unemployment compensation benefits in Florida.
Some of the frequently asked questions our unemployment attorneys receive include:
Do I need an attorney?
Yes, but only at the appeal of a denial. Never, ever go to this appeal hearing without representation. This can be the difference between winning and losing. Most people make the mistake of thinking they are right and they will just tell the referee. Do not fall into this trap. We normally talk ourselves into a false belief. We provide a free consultation and our representation at this hearing is always a flat fee of $500.
How long must you have worked to be eligible for benefits?
You must have worked and earned wages during the first four of the last five calendar quarters (beginning in January, April, July and October). These five quarters are known as the “base period.” During that time period, you must:
- Have been paid wages in two or more calendar quarters;
- Have total wages during the base period of at least 150% of the wages during the highest quarter in the base period; and
- Have earned at least $3,400 during the base period
Under What Circumstances Will You be Eligible for Benefits?
In most cases, you must have been involuntarily separated from your job to receive benefits. Furthermore, that separation must be for reasons other than misconduct. You are eligible for benefits if you were fired for unsatisfactory job performance, rather than “intentional or controllable acts…which show a deliberate disregard of the employer’s interest.” In some limited cases, you may receive benefits if you quit your job, provided you can demonstrate that you meet certain criteria. For example, if you were fired or you resigned due to a medical related issue, you could be eligible for benefits assuming you are currently seeking other employment.
How Much Will You Receive in Benefits?
The smallest amount you will receive is $32 per week and the largest benefit you can receive is $275 per week. Your benefits are calculated by taking the highest amount of money earned during any quarter in the base period and dividing it by 26, subject to the minimum and maximum limits of $32 and $275. You can also have a part time job and still receive benefits, but any earnings of $52 or more will be deducted from your benefits.
What Job Search Requirements Must You Fulfill?
Anyone collecting benefits must be able to work and actively seeking work. You will be required to keep records related to your job search and provide those records to the state upon request.
How do You file a claim for unemployment benefits?
The easiest way to apply for unemployment in Florida is to apply for unemployment benefits online at https://www2.myflorida.com/fluid/.
You may also apply via telephone by calling 1-800-204-2418.