How to Win an Unemployment Appeal in Florida

How to Win an Unemployment Appeal in Florida

In Florida (as in all other states), workers can submit an appeal if they are denied unemployment benefits. The DEO – Department of Economic Opportunity – is responsible for administering Florida’s unemployment insurance program. If you are turned down or denied benefits because of an error, missing or incomplete information, or another reason, you can appeal the decision.

The question you may have is “How do you win an unemployment appeal in FL?” Along with wanting to know how to win, you may also wonder “How often do employees win unemployment appeals?”

These are both good questions. Keep reading to learn more about being denied unemployment benefits and how to win when appealing an unemployment denial.

Common Reasons to be Denied Unemployment Benefits in Florida

If you have received a notice that you have been denied unemployment benefits, you have the right to appeal. While this is true, you need to make sure that you were not denied because of these reasons:

You Failed to File in Time

You had to have earned wages within the past two quarters of the base period. This means you can’t wait a year after you lose your job to file. With that in mind, for obvious reasons, it is smart to file within a week of being let go so you can earn your benefits sooner rather than later.

You Didn’t Meet the Set Earning Requirements

The total earnings you accumulate during your base period have to be 1.5 times higher than the wages you were able to earn during your highest-earning base period quarter. Additionally, you had to earn a minimum of $3,400 during the base period.

You Quit

If you happen to quit voluntarily and don’t have a good reason for doing this, you may be denied your benefits. However, not all situations where you quit will disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits. For example, if you decided to quit because of working conditions that were unsafe and that were not addressed by your employer, you may still be able to get benefits.

You Refused Suitable Work

It is not possible for you to get unemployment benefits if you are not searching for work, and you have to accept a job if a suitable one is offered.

You Were Fired Due to Misconduct

If your employer fired you because you disregarded the safety of yourself or others, or if you constantly violated company rules, then you won’t qualify for unemployment benefits.

The last point on this list is one you should consider carefully. Sometimes, if misconduct occurs, it is open to interpretation. One example would be chronic absenteeism or regular tardiness. These may not meet the traditional definition of misconduct if the attendance rules for your job are not defined or enforced. In this situation, if you believe that you should be eligible to receive benefits, it’s a good idea to get in touch with an unemployment benefits attorney. They can help you prepare for the appeal process.

Appealing an Unemployment Denial

If you have considered the reason that you were denied unemployment benefits and decide to move forward with an appeal, you will have 20 days to do this after you receive notice of your denial. This means you have 20 days from when you received notice. If the 20th day falls on a holiday, Sunday, or Saturday, you have the right to submit the appeal on the next business day.

You can file the appeal online, by fax, or by mail. You should include your contact information, case number, Social Security number, and a brief explanation of why you believe you should not have been denied unemployment benefits.

It’s smart to get in touch with an attorney who can help with the appeal application. They can also help gather evidence for your case, including paperwork like warning letters, employee handbooks, and witness testimony.

After you have filed your request and it is approved, the DEO will send you a notice of hearing, which will be about 10 days (in most cases) before the date the hearing will occur. The notice you receive will include the time, date, and any needed contact information.

While you are appealing the decision for benefits, you should continue your search for a job and keep a log of your job search. This is necessary because if your appeal is granted, you can receive benefits from the date you initially filed your claim for unemployment benefits.

How to Win an Unemployment Appeal in FL

When it comes to winning an unemployment appeal in Florida, there are a few things you should keep in mind. This is going to give you the best chance of a successful outcome.

Take the Process Seriously

Usually, this isn’t an issue for unemployed workers. After all, you will have time on your hands and an incentive to win. Make sure you speak to an attorney who can help you with the case and provide information about what to expect and what you need to do.

Avoid Over-Reliance on Hearsay Evidence

You should never rely too much on hearsay evidence if you can avoid it. If there are people who have seen and know your situation that can be used as witnesses, it is a good idea to ask them to help with your case.

Gather Information

Once you have filed your appeal, you receive the Notice of Hearing (as mentioned above). You should make sure that you have all the information needed for the case, including emails, documents, witnesses, etc. This will be the only chance you have to present evidence related to your case and situation.

If you plan to use documentation in the process, it must be given to your former employer and Appeals Referee. This needs to be done before your scheduled hearing. Also, during the hearing, the documents need to be moved to evidence. You can’t think that just because you provided the documents to your employer and Appeals Referee that they are automatically considered. It’s also possible to have witnesses who can provide testimony, and you can request that the Appeals Referee compel other witnesses to testify by using a subpoena. It’s important that you file everything you want to have considered during the hearing.

Contact an Attorney for Assistance with the Process

It’s easy to believe that you can handle the appeals process on your own. However, the unemployment compensation law is complicated. There have been revisions to the unemployment statutes, and some of the employee-friendly provisions have been eliminated. Employers may have access to a human resources director who has handled these cases and who knows what is needed to defend the claim. Usually, these individuals are professionals.

You probably have never handled legal claims in the past or handled the cross-examination of witnesses. Even if you know your situation better than anyone else, you may not know what portions you need to focus on. It’s smart to get the advice of a professional before the date of your hearing.

We Are Ready to Help with Your Unemployment Benefits Appeal

If you want the best chance to win your unemployment appeal in Florida, contact our legal team by calling (877) 946-8293. Our team can investigate your situation and case and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. While there are no guarantees in these situations, we will work hard to win the benefits you deserve.

You need to be proactive and make sure that you get started with the appeal process as quickly as possible. This is going to pay off and give you a good chance of getting the benefits that you are entitled to.


Tampa Lawyer Mitch Feldman

Attorney Mitch Feldman

Attorney Mitchell Feldman, Esq. specializes in both personal injury and employment law. He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and has an Avvo rating of 10. A member of the State Bar in both Florida and Georgia, he is also admitted to practice in Federal District Courts. With several multi-million dollar victories for his clients, Mitchell Feldman has a record of success. [ Attorney Bio ]