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  • If you have just lost your job, you probably have a lot of questions about Florida’s unemployment compensation program. This article focuses on the top 5 questions asked by workers and provides clear and simple answers.

    Should I File My New Claim in Florida or Another State?

    Good question. Where you should file for unemployment compensation depends on where you worked during the last 18 months and where you live. However, eligibility for other unemployment programs, such as the federal Extended Benefits program is dependent exclusively on where you live. Let us spell out all the possible scenarios.

    1) If you live and worked in Florida during your base period, you should apply in Florida.

    2) If you live in another state but worked in Florida during the last 18 months, you can also apply for UC benefits in Florida through an interstate claim.

    However, if you live in another state and worked in several states during the last 18 months, you should apply in the state where you are living. Obviously, if you live in another state, and worked exclusively in that state during the last 18 months, you should apply for UC from that state.

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    How Do I File For UC Benefits?

    You can do it online (click here), over the phone (1-800-204-2418) or by mail. If you choose to do it by mail, you will have to visit your local unemployment office and fill in a claim booklet. The address you must mail the application is included in the booklet.


    When Will My Claim Start? How Long Do I Have To Wait To Get Paid?

    The date of your application starts the Sunday of the week you file your first claim. Florida’s UC Agency will usually take around 2 weeks to process your application and there is a waiting week. So, you should generally receive your first check around three weeks after your file your first claim. Remember you will need to certify your weekly claim for your application to remain active.

    How Can I Reopen My Claim?

    If you find temporary work, or forget to certify a weekly benefit, your claim could be put on hold. You can reopen an existing claim online by clicking here, and following instructions. Alternatively, you can phone 1-800-204-2418 by choosing option 2 (after you selection your language).

    Do I Have To Keep A Work Search Record?

    Yes. Although all states require their workers to search for unemployment while receiving unemployment benefits, Florida specifically requires unemployed workers to fill in form AWI-UC 20A while receiving benefits. Click here to download AWI-UC 20A Work Search form.

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