How old do you have to be to file for unemployment?

by Ebony
(St Petersburg,Fl, USA)

My son was laid off from work but he is only 17 years old, can he file for unemployment?


Hi Ebony,

He can file for unemployment if he is only 17, but the main problem for any young person that has been working is whether they have enough wages to qualify .. given that a base period (the period of time wages are looked at) is usually not the previous twelve month.

In Florida like most states the base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. Florida does not have an alternative base period.

Additionally, in order to collect benefits, many states have a requirement that no matter what type of work you earned wages in, Part-time or Full-time .. you must be available and looking for full-time work to collect, which I believe is the case in Florida.

You can see the problem .. right?

Another thing young people also have to consider is whether just attending school is enough reason to disqualify them. I don't believe this is the case in Florida as long as a person is not limiting their availability for suitable full-time work with school attendance or are willing to give up school if suitable work came along.

Your son is seventeen .. he should be in school, but if he isn't and they won't let him have any weekly benefit amount or even if they do .. he absolutely, should still check out the other benefits offered by the state employment department to get free grant money to either get a HS diploma or find a trade school he can attend to better his ability to find another and better job in the near future with a future.

I'm moving your submission to "Unemployment and School""Unemployment and School" because it's sometimes easy to forget that teenagers in this country may also be helping to support a household and the system is not set up to help them as it should, but if they look beyond their immediate predicament .. they might find some other more beneficial help for attaining a short or long term goal of a good and well paying career for their future if this is what he needs.


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