Coronavirus: Denied unemployment benefits in Florida? Here’s what you need to do

ORLANDO, Fla. — Thousands of people are without jobs in Florida amid the coronavirus pandemic, and many are resorting to unemployment benefits.

But what happens if you are denied benefits?

The first thing to do is to find out why you were denied.

Read: Coronavirus: What you need to know in Central Florida

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, here is what you need to have to be eligible for benefits:

  • You must have lost your job through no fault of your own, so you must not have quit for personal reasons or been terminated for misconduct.
  • You must be totally or partially unemployed.
  • You must have a minimum amount of wages earned in what is called the “base period,” which is the first 12 months of the past 15 months from when you filed your claim.
  • At the time you apply, you must be able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work, unless otherwise exempt from this requirement. This includes being physically able to perform a job and having child care if necessary.

Once you find out why you were denied, call your local representative. They have staff that should be able to help.

To find your local representative, click here. The website asks for an address and a city.

Orlando Rep. Anna Eskamani has built a page for frequent asked questions. To view the page, click here.

Next, the DEO offered the following guidance:

“If you are not eligible, the written determination will explain the reason we denied your claim and will explain your appeal rights. If you disagree with a determination that denies benefits, you may request an appeal hearing. You have the option to request an appeal with our team within 20 calendar days after the distributed date of the determination. Visit http://FloridaJobs.org/COVID-19 to download a Notice of Appeals Form.”

*Select one of the options below to submit your request for an appeal.

•Online: through CONNECT

•Email: RA.AppealsClerks@deo.myflorida.com

•Mail: Office of Appeals, P.O. Box 5250, Tallahassee, FL 32399-5250

•Fax: 850-617-6504

Read: Alligators, snakes and bears, oh my! How Floridians can avoid unwanted animal encounters this spring

The DEO also has resources available online to help, which can be found here.

Here are other resources that could be helpful:

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.