Laid off? Here’s what to do first

Filing an unemployment claim no longer involves standing in line


As state and local governments ramp up their regulations on business activities, many people are being laid off, and nobody knows when those jobs will come back, if they do at all.

To file for unemployment in the state of Florida, start here. You don’t have to wait to do it–the state recommends filing within one week of losing your job.

Make sure you have the following information handy:

  • Social Security number
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers for each of your employers during the last 18 months
  • Dates worked and total wages from each employer during the last 18 months
  • Gross earnings (pre-tax wages) for the current week since 12:01 AM Sunday, your first week being claimed for unemployment
  • ID — either a driver’s license, state identification, voter registration number, or any other type of ID that can be used to verify your identity
  • If a member of a labor union, the name and local number of your labor union hall
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, your Alien Registration Number and work permit expiration date
  • If you were in the military within the last two years, your DD-214 form
  • If you were a federal employee, your Form SF-50 or Form SF-8 and check stubs or W2 proof of earnings
  • To have your benefits directly deposited into your bank account, a check or deposit slip

Also note: “The date your application is finished determines when you will begin receiving benefits. Claims always begin with the Sunday prior to the completion of the application. For example, an application completed on Wednesday will take effect on the Sunday before that Wednesday.”

All claims in Florida are completed online, and it takes about 30-60 minutes to complete a claim.

Governor DeSantis is reportedly working on temporarily removing the requirement to look for work, but in the meantime, don’t let that stop you from applying.

News reports have indicated that Walmart, Publix, Amazon (nothing listed locally, but you can sign up for alerts when local jobs are posted), and Domino’s are ramping up hiring, so put in an online application anywhere you can. If you know of a local business that’s hiring, add it in the comments below or on our Facebook page.