The US Department of Labor announced guidelines for states to provide more flexibility when making determinations concerning eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance. Moreover, the DEO suspended the requirement to provide work search contacts and complete the full work registration from March 15 to the week ending May 2, 2020. However, the basic guidelines on each State’s eligibility criteria still apply. Once a dislocated worker qualifies for State unemployment assistance the Federal Aid follows automatically and is disbursed using the same channels as each State administer the unemployment budget assigned by the CARES Act.

In Florida, pro-rated unemployment benefits are allowed under Florida Reemployment Assistance Law. This means that workers whose hours or salaries are significantly reduced may qualify for the State of Florida and Federal prorated unemployment aid if the remaining income per week does not exceed the maximum state’s allowance. Specific to COVID-19, employees whose hours or salaries are significantly reduced due to the pandemic will receive less than $275 per week (plus the $600 in federal aid) but may receive pro-rated aid, calculated on the percentage of salary reduced.

Due to the pandemic, the Florida unemployment program has extended federal benefits to self-employed workers, contractors and gig workers. While the unemployment benefit for partially employed workers is not as clear as it is for unemployed individuals, you are encouraged to nevertheless submit your application.

Generally, in order to qualify for unemployment benefits, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be partially unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • You must be totally or partially unemployed.
  • You must have earned $3,400 before taxes during the first four quarters beginning 18 months prior to your claim.
  • You must be able, available, and seek to work

For more information as to the Florida unemployment insurance program or Reemployment Assistance, click here