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Suddenly out of a job due to coronavirus? Here’s what to do

The information you’ll need to collect unemployment benefits in Florida.
A closed sign hangs in the window of a shop this week.
A closed sign hangs in the window of a shop this week. [ CHARLES KRUPA | AP ]
Published Mar. 26, 2020
Updated Mar. 26, 2020

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, numerous area businesses have been forced to close, or cut back on services, leaving many people without jobs or a way to pay expenses. Here are a few tips on how to file for unemployment, and what you’ll need.

To file a claim, go to http://www.floridajobs.org/Reemployment-Assistance-Service-Center/reemployment-assistance/claimants/apply-for-benefits, or call toll-free 1-800-204-2418.

Have the following information handy when you file:

  • Social Security number
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers for each place of employment in the past 18 months
  • Dates worked and total wages from each employer
  • Gross earnings (before taxes) during that period
  • Identification — either a driver’s license, state identification, voter registration number, or any other type of ID that can be used to verify your identity
  • Employer details off your recent pay stub, or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN found on W-2 or 1099 tax forms)
  • Reason for separation from employer

The Department of Labor has issued more flexible guidelines on unemployment insurance during the coronavirus outbreak. You may collect if:

  • You are quarantined and cannot work, but expect to return to work after the quarantine is lifted
  • You leave a job due to risk of exposure
  • You leave a job to care for someone in need
  • Your place of employment temporarily closes do to COVID-19

If employment information is not provided at time of filing, benefits will be delayed until that information is obtained.