Floridians on unemployment may see a $300 bump in weekly benefits

Application for benefits
The benefits are expected to last roughly three weeks.

Floridians who are currently receiving unemployment benefits may see a $300 bump in their weekly benefits.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity would apply for the Lost Wages Assistance Program. If approved by the federal government, eligible Floridians will receive the additional dollars without any secondary applications, similar to the COVID-19 stimulus checks.

“On behalf of Floridians who are continuing to face challenges finding employment, I would like to thank President Trump for providing additional funding while they get back on their feet,” DeSantis said. “We appreciate the opportunity to provide this temporary assistance through the Lost Wages Assistance Program.”

The extra funding for Florida’s unemployed, however, will likely be short-lived because Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief money funds the program. Both FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor forecast the funding to last roughly three weeks after a state’s application is approved. What’s more, the agencies warn that funding could dry up at any time.

To qualify for the federal boost, the claimant must be currently receiving at least $100 weekly in an approved Reemployment Assistance program. Claimants must also be able to certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed because of COVID-19.

The announcement said the benefits would be retroactive to Aug. 1.

The number of Floridians applying for COVID-19-related unemployment benefits went up last week after a decline for much of August, according to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity data. In the past week, there were 3.56 million unique unemployment claims in Florida, meaning they were not duplicates.

In all, $14.22 billion went to unemployment claimants in the state, with $10.13 billion coming from federal pandemic unemployment compensation. Another $536.44 million came through federal pandemic unemployment assistance and another $549.01 million from federal pandemic emergency unemployment compensation.

Florida has paid out about $3 billion since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis as businesses across the state laid-off workers, eliminated positions, or closed entirely. That’s nearly $100 million more than the previous week, which saw a $90 million single-week increase.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.


14 comments

  • Esteban Yu

    August 26, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    What about the people the already exhausted the Florida benefits but they are still unemployed?

    • William

      September 2, 2020 at 12:06 am

      Hey……Esteban…You have to go the website to reapply…Or call…..EVERYONE had to do it…You will be approved…Hurry up Man…

  • Formica D

    August 26, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    If your state 12 weeks of unemployment is exhausted you should see a link when you log into connect to apply for PEUC (pandemic unemployment for those who exhaust their state benefits) it pays you 12 weeks (assuming you are eligible) of state benefits ($275 max).

  • Esteban yu

    August 27, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Thank you for a response but i already exhausted the PEUC also.

    • Lol

      August 28, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      If you’re talking about the $600 per week, that is not PEUC. PEUC only pays state unemployment benefits (after your first 12 weeks run out) at least until Congress restores the extra pandemic unemployment which may not be $600. If you already exhausted the PEUC I am not sure what you are currently eligible for but maybe Congress would fix that since Fla unemployment is too stingy at just 12 weeks.

  • Valerie Sprieser

    August 27, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Raided FEMA for unemployment $. So what if we have another cat 4 hit this season? We have 3more months to go! FEMA will be out of $!
    Great planning trump! You are no leader where are your great negotiating skills?????? It’s easier for you to steal $! A crook never changes his toon!

  • Jeff Scott

    August 28, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    All of this would be unnecessary if Pelosi would just work with Steve and
    step back from her bloated Heros act which is filled with pork and has
    nothing to do with Covid 19. The Republicans offer is fair and will help
    those who are hurting now and the economy in general.

  • Erin

    August 28, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    The Republicans have tons of money for corporate welfare, tax cuts for the top1%,
    ; endless wars of aggresssion; and huge wasteful “defense” budgets….but when people unemployed through no fault of their own are getting evicted and are starving and have no healthcare, their attitude is “just drop dead already” and stop bothering us.

  • Vince magruder

    August 29, 2020 at 9:19 am

    So what about people who only got like say $90 or so a week on state unemployment? They will be left out? Is there a way for them to amend their record,in case had income prior to pandemic they firgit to include?

  • EE

    August 29, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Not sure but if you forgot to include income I would not try to amend your unemployment record as this may be considered fraud.

  • Harvey

    September 4, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    the $300 bump in their weekly benefits is supposed to be retroactive back to August 1, but should only be in effect until early or mid September.

    In addition to the 12 weeks you could receive from the state of florida, there was also an additional 13 weeks funded by the US Government that was part of the Cares Act.

    As many people lost their jobs in Mid-March, those additional 13 weeks should expire in mid-september and it is unclear what people can do then

  • SarahSmile

    September 4, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    yes the PEUC (for those who exhausted state benefits) weeks would expire mid-September only for those who actually could get into the sytem (or had the date moved back) in Mid march. Alot of people never succeeded in getting the DEO to move their file date back to mid-March when they first tried to file for UE benefits.

    • Harvey

      September 4, 2020 at 1:10 pm

      Have you had any success reaching DEO by phone? I have had consistent success when hitting option 3 (basically for people who can’t read and any other issues) at 1-800-204-2418

      • Brandon Stewart

        September 8, 2020 at 9:30 pm

        Yes, I did I called my local Career Source Center and the Guy told me to call call a different number and press a few numbers and I got to talk to someone It took me a month to figure that out. Here’s the phone number to call (833)352-7759 and listen to the prompts and press 5 and then listen again and press 2 when it asks after that wait about 15 minutes give or take a few and a live person will actually come on the line it works I’ve used it a few times now and it works every time I have used it. I wish someone had told me this a long time ago but I kept trying to get through and like I said I had to call my Career Source Center which I find helps more than the DEO itself for many question’s so don’t be afraid to look up your local center and call them as well there helpful more so than the actual places you will contact anyway its crazy but effective.

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