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Corona Economics

$300 federal unemployment benefit extended for fourth — and likely final — week

The federal program is funded by FEMA and the Department of Labor.

Floridians on unemployment will continue to receive an extra $300 weekly from the Federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program for a fourth consecutive week, the Orlando Sentinel reported Monday.

The LWA program, which is funded by the FEMA disaster relief fund, was expected to run out of money near its third week. It now, however, will be extended for an additional week.

In a statement by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) said Floridians can expect that money this week. The DEO also warned that this will likely be the benefit’s final week.

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

Eligible Floridians will receive the additional dollars without any secondary applications, similar to the COVID-19 stimulus checks. The federal benefit is retroactive to Aug. 1.

While the extra dollars come as a relief for many Floridians, economic hardship remains a reality for many more.

According to data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the state has logged 3.88 million total claims for pandemic jobless assistance in the past week, up about 70,000 claims over the previous week. Of those, 3.72 million were unique jobless claims, meaning they were not duplicates.

In all, $14.89 billion has been paid since the COVID-19 outbreak.

The LWA program was created by President Donald Trump. Gov. Ron DeSantis applauded the program when Florida received federal approval.

“We thank President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for providing this relief to Floridians during this time of need,” DeSantis said in early September. “These additional funds will provide critical support to Florida’s unemployed workforce due to COVID-19.”

More information on LWA is available online.

Written By

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.

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