Payments of extended unemployment benefits begin
TALLAHASSEE - The Agency for Workforce Innovation announced Thursday that payments have begun for Floridians who applied and are eligible for Extended Unemployment Compensation Benefits, recently made available through a change in state law and underwritten by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. An estimated 250,000 Floridians will be eligible for the program, which lasts through the end of the year. "Extended Benefits will provide financial support to an estimated 250,000 Floridians who have exhausted all other unemployment compensation," said agency Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo. "As we assist Floridians in finding new jobs, these funds provide an additional safety net to our customers and their families while also reinvigorating our state's economy with the infusion of an estimated $418 million in federal recovery funds." Payments began Thursday and will be retroactive to Feb. 22 for eligible Floridians. The initial retroactive payments may be as high as $5,100 for some people, with additional payments of as much as $300 a week for up to a total of 20 weeks. To date, AWI has received more than 73,000 applications for Extended Benefits, which may be applied for online at www.floridajobs.org.To receive extended benefits individuals must: •Be totally or partially unemployed •Not be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits in any other state (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) or Canada •Be actively seeking work and provide work search documentation for each week claimed •Not refuse an offer of suitable work or fail to apply for suitable work •Exhaust all entitlement to regular and Emergency Unemployment Compensation after Feb. 22, 2009 or •Exhaust all entitlement to regular and Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits prior to Feb. 22, 2009, and have established a claim benefit year that ends after Feb. 22, 2009 Eligible Floridians are invited to apply online at www.floridajobs.org, which is the most efficient way to process claims. For those who do not have Internet access, forms are mailed from the Agency for Workforce Innovation to Floridians identified as potentially eligible and may be filled out and returned with an enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope. For a comprehensive list of questions and answers about extended benefits, visit http://www.floridajobs.org/unemployment/EB/EB_FAQ.html. For more information about AWI's unemployment compensation programs, including extended benefits, visit http://www.floridajobs.org/unemployment/EB/EBonepager.pdf or call 800-204-2418. For more information about Florida's use of the federal recovery dollars made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, visit www.FlaRecovery.com.