Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking the Department of Economic Opportunity to extend rules waiving the work search and registration requirements to qualify for unemployment assistance by an additional 90 days.
Jobless Floridians seeking unemployment benefits can disregard the search and waiting week requirements through Dec. 5. the DEO announced in its Friday update email about the Reemployment Assistance program.
The Governor’s decision to extend the requirement will help ease the minds of the unemployed who were once again on the verge of having to confirm their employment status every two weeks.
As of the end of July, the DEO cleared the waivers to continue through Saturday.
Despite economic signs improving in Florida — and DeSantis touring the state to hype up economic activity — Floridians continue to wade through economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. After first suspending the rules in April, the Governor and the DEO have repeatedly extended those lessened requirements and fended off questions about the plan’s legality.
Floridians who are currently receiving unemployment benefits may soon see a $300 bump in their weekly benefits after the DEO applied for the Lost Wages Assistance Program. The department is working to “implement the necessary technology” to get that cash out to those seeking benefits.
The DEO’s benefits request portal failed this spring under the influx of applicants. At times, it took weeks for the department to send out checks
DeSantis stripped former DEO Executive Director Ken Lawson of his unemployment system duties. He tapped the Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter to fill in.
However, Lawson stayed on as Executive Director until his resignation Monday. On Wednesday morning, DeSantis named outgoing House Republican Leader Dane Eagle as Lawson’s successor. Eagle takes over the DEO on Sept. 14 and will work alongside Satter on unemployment matters until the transition is complete.
As of Thursday, the DEO paid 1.9 million claimants a total of $14.8 billion. More than 3.6 million unique claims have been processed, representing 99% of unique claims submitted.