Unemployment Assistance

Florida's economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our state gained 84,500 jobs in October including 73,000 private sector jobs - one of four record highs over the past 30 years

To help Floridians find employment, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity recently announced the "Return to Work" initiative. The initiative works with CareerSource Florida to help individuals find employment, learn new job skills, and provide assistance for those seeking new career paths.

Florida ended the increased federal unemployment benefits that were discouraging Americans from returning to work. Florida stopped these expanded benefits in May and a net 81,300 jobs were added in Florida in June.

Image Courtesy of Governor DeSantis' office

Assistance with Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

If you still need to file an initial reemployment assistance claim, visit www.floridajobs.org or submit an application via CONNECT. If you have applied for reemployment assistance and are having trouble communicating with or contacting FLDEO, please contact my Leesburg Office at 352-241-9220.

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Who was eligible for these benefits?

Individuals who were eligible for Reemployment Assistance may include:

  • Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a state or local government agency.
  • Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns. This also includes self-employed and independent contractors, such as Uber drivers and gig workers.
  • Those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.

How long do unemployment benefits last?

It varies by state, but most states provide access to unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. Florida stopped the expanded federal benefits in May 2021 and a net 81,300 jobs were added in Florida in June 2021.

Were self-employed and independent contractors eligible? 

Yes. Self-employed and independent contractors, like gig workers and Uber drivers, were eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This also covered workers laid off from churches and religious institutions who may not be eligible under the state’s program.

How much do unemployed workers get?

Generally, a person’s benefits replace about 1/3 to 1/2 of their wages.

Are unemployment benefits taxable and do they count as income?

Yes. Unemployment benefits are taxable income and they generally count as income when determining eligibility for public assistance programs.