by Terry Arnold
I moved to Florida from Arizona in August 2008 and have been working for the same employer since that time. I was informed that I need to have surgery and would have to be off for 6 to 7 weeks. The company said I could use FMLA which is good for job retention but the company has no STD plan. I remember reading some where that if you’re a Florida resident and unable to work because of a medical condition you can collect unemployment benefits.
I would like to know:
1. Is this information accurate?
2. If so, how can I determine if I’m qualified?
3. If I am qualified, is there a waiting period?
4. If qualified, what amount of compensation could I expect?
5. If qualified, how do I apply?
Noooo, I doubt you read somewhere that a Florida resident could collect unemployment if unable to work due to a medical condition. What you probably read referenced the disqualifications statute which by the way addresses “separation” this could be by the claimant or employer:
“good cause” includes only that cause attributable to the employing unit or which consists of illness or disability of the individual requiring separation from his or her work. Any other disqualification may not be imposed.
But the statutes addressing benefit eligibility conditions requires you to be able and available.
Florida’s Unemployment Benefits Eligibility Conditions.
If there are conditions of the job that make an employee unable to continue in that job they can “quit” and collect unemployment, but if they are not able and available to work .. they cannot collect until such time as they become able and available.
Maybe someone has a heart or pulmonary condition. They have to do something too strenuous, their doctor advises them to find easier work. They can collect because they are still able and available.
A person goes out on FMLA for surgery, but complications arise that make the job no longer suitable .. they can collect as soon as they become able and available again.
The doctor doesn’t release you at the end of your FMLA leave. You request a personal leave to extend your leave. The employer denies your request. You would be able to collect when the doctor finally releases you, but not until then because you are not able and available.
Florida does not have a temporary disability unemployment insurance program. In fact only five do. All could if they wanted to. The federal guidelines allow for states to use contributed UI tax for this type of unemployment, But since .. I think it was 1942 when Rhode Island first opted for some type of TDI program and the FUTA was amended in 1947 .. only four more states followed suit NJ, NY, HI, CA (employees contribute to it in CA) .. Oh, and let’s not forget Puerto Rico.
All the programs are different. New York requires employer’s to carry STD.
Anymore questions .. just ask.
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