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Florida Unemployment Updates and Resources

As COVID-19 continues to impact society, unemployment rates have seen a sharp incline across the nation. When it comes to managing unemployment, each state determines how much money people receive based on their prior income and other factors. As an example, the average payment in Mississippi was $215, while Massachusetts was $550.


In Florida (FL), the state determines the weekly benefit payments based on previous earning during employment. FL residents can currently receive a maximum of $275 per week for 12 weeks, or a maximum of $3,300. However, the current crisis has caused some of these unemployment rules to change.


We hope that the below updates will assist you in navigating the current complexities that surround unemployment within the state of Florida. Changes to Florida Unemployment Due to COVID-19 With COVID-19 removing a large amount of employees from the workplace, many employee benefits may be extended. When the state unemployment rate goes above 5 percent in FL, the state will extend the duration of benefits throughout its standard 12 weeks. An additional week will also be added for every 0.5 percent increase to the unemployment rate above 5%, with a maximum benefit extension of 23 weeks. According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Florida unemployment rates for March were 4.3%. Additional Financial Relief Through CARES Act The CARES Act currently provides eligible unemployed individuals $600 per week for four months. Here is an example: If your weekly state unemployment payment would have been $275 (the Florida maximum), you will now receive an additional $600 from the federal government for up to four months. You would receive $875 for the period you qualified for both state and federal unemployment until July 31st.


How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits in FL


Employees can currently apply online at the state of Florida’s unemployment office website. When you contact the FL unemployment office, you will most likely be asked to self-certify that you’re typically able and available to work. The CARES Act provides states with leeway regarding availability due to:


  • Diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19

  • Your household being impacted

  • Your employer being forced to close due to the virus


3 CARES Act Unemployment Programs


  1. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program provides an extra $600 a week in benefits.

  2. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program extends eligibility for unemployment benefits.

  3. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PAU) program provides unemployment benefits to independent contractors, gig workers and the self-employed.


Additional Sources:


Stay safe and healthy!

Keith Tirico



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