Unemployment benefits extended in Florida….again
On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law an extension of the eligibility dates for the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB) programs by approximately 13 months. In response, Governor Charlie Crist signed an Executive Order authorizing Floridians who qualify for the EB program to begin receiving those benefits. Florida must be in an EB period for eligible Floridians to receive EB payments. The new law provides an extension of full federal funding for EB through January 7, 2012.
“As with previous federal extensions, we have been closely monitoring this legislation and working with the Governor’s Office to ensure Floridians entitled to these benefits receive them as quickly as possible,” said Agency for Workforce Innovation Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo. “Potentially eligible Floridians will be notified by mail, and payments will begin next week. People who believe they may be eligible are encouraged to check the agency’s website at www.floridajobs.org beginning next Wednesday to see if they have available weeks to claim.”
Florida’s EB period ended on December 4, 2010. Qualifying individuals will receive the benefits retroactive to that date if their benefits lapsed. The EB program pays up to 20 weeks of additional benefits to individuals who previously exhausted the up-to-79 weeks of regular state and federal EUC benefits. AWI estimates the Governor’s Executive Order will benefit approximately 250,000 long-term unemployed Floridians and result in an additional $650 million in benefit payments.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation
The new federal law also extends the deadline for establishing eligibility in the federal EUC program by approximately 13 months, retroactive to November 2010, and extends the phase-out date for the program to June 9, 2012. Four tiers of federal EUC benefits remain available to eligible beneficiaries, and details can be found on the Hot Topics section of the agency’s website at http://www.floridajobs.org/unemployment/hottopics.html. No new tiers of benefits were created.
Because the new eligibility dates were approved by Congress after the previous deadlines had passed, some beneficiaries have already received final payment notices in the mail. The agency will mail notices of the new eligibility dates to those individuals.
Those who believe they may be eligible for EUC or EB under the new dates are encouraged to check www.floridajobs.org or call (800) 204-2418 to see whether they have available weeks to claim. The agency’s hotline is available 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday – Friday and 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Saturdays. Eligible beneficiaries will be able to begin certifying for any weeks to which they may be entitled by next week, once the agency completes necessary programming. Certifying online at www.floridajobs.org is the quickest and most efficient way to process payments.
Federal Additional Compensation
The Federal Additional Compensation program – payments of $25 weekly, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – ended on December 11, 2010. This program was not extended under the new law.
- Beneficiaries who are potentially eligible for additional EUC and EB benefits will be notified by mail.
- The new law did not add any additional weeks of benefits through new tiers of EUC.
- Beneficiaries who believe they may be eligible may begin certifying for benefits as early as next Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at www.floridajobs.org or by calling (800) 204-2418.
- New extended unemployment compensation available in Florida
- Crist signs unemployment benefits legislation
- Crist signs executive order extending unemploment benefits
- Florida’s unemployment rate still hovering at 12 percent
- Extended unemployment compensation heads to Crist for approval
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