I was Terminated. Am I Eligible for Unemployment Compensation Benefits?

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In Florida, there are several factors involved in determining whether or not you are eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits.  In future blog articles, we will further examine each element below, as each have nuances and exceptions.

Generally, to be eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits in Florida, you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. Your job loss must be through no fault of your own. Therefore, you cannot be unemployed because you quit your job for personal reasons. However, if the working conditions were so unacceptable that no reasonable person would remain employed, you could quit and still be eligible.  In other words, the separation must have been because of a reason which is attributable to your employer (i.e., you were subjected to unlawful discrimination).  You also cannot have been terminated for malicious misconduct (purposefully doing things that you know will get you fired). However, poor job performance alone does not disqualify you.

  2. You must be totally or partially unemployed. If you were working a full-time position and your hours were cut or you were laid off and took a part-time job, you can be considered “underemployed” and receive benefits to assist in making up a portion of the shortcomings in your income.

  3. You must have a minimum amount of wages earned in you base period.  Your “base period” is the first four complete quarters beginning 18 months prior to your claim. You must have been paid wages in at least two months of your base period and earned at least $3,400 total in your entire base period.

  4. You must be able to work, available to work, and actively seeing work. This includes having transportation and child care, if necessary.

Because it costs you nothing to apply for unemployment benefits, if you feel you are entitled to receive them, there is no reason not to apply.  In the event you are denied benefits, but you meet the above criteria, you should strongly consider seeking the assistance of a law firm experienced in handling unemployment compensation appeals that will help you secure your unemployment compensation benefits.