Can an Independent Contractor File for Unemployment in Florida

As an independent contractor, it can be confusing to know whether or not you’re eligible for unemployment benefits in Florida. Unemployment benefits are typically only available to individuals who have lost their job through no fault of their own, such as being laid off due to budget cuts or downsizing. However, independent contractors are in a unique position, and the eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits in Florida can be different for these individuals.

The answer to whether or not an independent contractor can file for unemployment in Florida is not straightforward. In general, independent contractors are considered self-employed and therefore not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits. However, under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, independent contractors are eligible for a new type of unemployment benefit called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

To be eligible for PUA in Florida, you must be able and available for work, actively seeking work, and unable to work due to certain COVID-19 related reasons, such as being under a quarantine order, having COVID-19 symptoms, or caring for a family member who has COVID-19. Additionally, you must have earned at least $5,000 in self-employment income during the prior year or have been scheduled to start a job that was cancelled due to COVID-19.

To apply for PUA in Florida, you must submit an application through the state`s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) website. The process can be time-consuming, so be sure to have all necessary documentation and information ready before beginning the application process.

It`s important to note that PUA benefits are only available for a limited time. Currently, the program is set to expire on September 6, 2021. However, the program may be extended if the pandemic continues to impact employment rates in the state.

In conclusion, independent contractors in Florida may be eligible for unemployment benefits through the PUA program under certain COVID-19 related circumstances. If you believe you meet the eligibility requirements for PUA, be sure to apply as soon as possible to ensure you receive the full benefit you`re entitled to.

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