Once you have applied for unemployment benefits, you may have difficulty figuring out exactly how many weeks you are eligible to receive. According to Florida Statue § 443.111, the duration of benefits is directly tied to the State of Florida’s average unemployment rate. If the unemployment rate is at or below 5%, benefits are limited to 12 weeks. An additional week is added for every half percent increase of the unemployment rate. However, a maximum of 23 weeks can be paid if the state’s unemployment rate equals or exceed 10.5%. As of the publication of this article, Florida’s unemployment rate is 5.7%.
Additionally, when certain criteria are met, an individual may be eligible for extended benefits. The criteria are written into the Florida statutes and can be difficult to decipher. For extended benefits to be accessible the occurrence of a week in which the rate of insured unemployment under state law, not seasonally adjusted, for the period consisting of that week and the 12 weeks immediately preceding it must equal or exceed 120% of the average of those rates for the corresponding 13-week period ending in each of the preceding 2 calendar years AND equal or exceed 5%.
These extended benefits are limited to the lesser of the following 2 criteria: an additional 50% of the total regular benefits described above, or thirteen times an individual’s weekly benefit amount. Regardless of how many weeks to which you may be eligible, the maximum dollar benefit is $275 per week and is only meant to provide assistance while you seek other employment.
At Wilson McCoy, P.A. we are experienced in handling unemployment cases, including appeals of the denial of benefits. If you would like to know more about your rights and the unemployment hearing process if you are facing a hearing or have been denied benefits, please contact us at 407-803-5400 or [email protected], for an analysis of your situation and to schedule a consultation.