A second federal relief fund has been rolled into Florida’s aid programs, giving the state three pots of money from which to now provide unemployment insurance benefits for Floridians who’ve lost their jobs since the coronavirus crisis crashed the economy in mid-March.
On Thursday, the Department of Economic Opportunity began detailing the numbers of Floridians deemed eligible for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance fund. That’s now on top of the other federal assistance fund, the pandemic unemployment compensation program, and the state’s reemployment assistance program.
In the department’s daily activity report released Thursday covering efforts made through Wednesday, the state was able to approve 40,248 Floridians for the new federal fund, 9,679 of whom received checks. The new fund paid out $4.2 million Wednesday, an average of about $436 each.
Yet it was unclear from the report how that affected the overall pool of hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, Floridians who have applied for unemployment compensation but still have not had their applications processed.
It also was unclear how many of the people getting aid from the new federal fund were transferred into it from the state’s fund or how many were approved as authorities processed new claims.
In the end, the number of Floridians getting some form of unemployment assistance went up 14,337 Wednesday.
The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the changes.
According to the latest report, Florida now has received 1,856,040 unemployment claims, though that likely includes a few duplicates from people who applied more than once.
Of that total of applications in hand, 1,210,168 now have been confirmed as unique claims, while the others remain in the stack, yet to be sorted.
Of those confirmed as unique, 814,560 have been processed, or roughly two of every three.
A total of 469,210 Floridians have been deemed eligible for the state’s reemployment assistance program and 40,248 for the newly itemized federal pandemic unemployment assistance program, while 264,854 other Floridians seeking unemployment aid have been rejected.
Both eligible ineligible applicant numbers declined Tuesday to Wednesday, suggesting many of those newly listed as eligible only for the new federal program were drawn from both stacks.
Overall, Florida now has rejected about 34% of all the claims that have been deemed either eligible or ineligible for some type of relief.
Florida now has sent unemployment checks to about two of every five people who’ve submitted applications that have been confirmed as unique claims.
As a result, unemployed Floridians now have received almost $354 million from the state program, more than $702 million from the old federal program, and $4 million from the new federal program, for a total of just over $1 billion in unemployment payments.