Make us your home page
Instagram

Florida extends unemployment benefits for about 250,000 jobless

If you've been both out of work and out of unemployment benefits for a while, you may be eligible for a $5,000 boost.

It's part of a new state program to dole out extended unemployment insurance benefits to about 250,000 long-term jobless Floridians.

Payments will begin in early July and will be made retroactive to Feb. 22 for those who are eligible. The retroactive payments could be as high as $5,100 for some claimants, with additional payments of as much as $300 a week for up to a total of 20 weeks.

The extended benefits were triggered by a bill signed by Gov. Charlie Crist late Monday that frees up $418 million for Florida tied to the federal stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. During their session, Florida legislators rejected another $444 million in federal stimulus money, saying that extra layer of unemployment aid would have hurt businesses and created new entitlements.

"In conjunction with this law taking effect, we have launched an online application for Extended Benefits at www.floridajobs.org to begin processing these critical payments to eligible Floridians as quickly as possible," Cynthia Lorenzo, the interim director of the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, said in a statement Tuesday.

In April, Florida posted a slight dip in its unemployment rate to 9.6 percent, but it continues to be worse than the national average. And even if the pace of layoffs has slowed, the long-term jobless have struggled to get back into the work force. Nationally, the number of those on extended benefits is at a record high.

"By allowing for individuals looking for work to continue collecting unemployment benefits, it assures their families are taken care of," said state Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah, a sponsor of the bill.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at jharrington@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8242.

FAST FACTS

How to apply

The most efficient way to apply is online at www.floridajobs.org, but for those who do not have Internet access, the Agency for Workforce Innovation will mail forms. Details are available at the Web site by clicking on "file an unemployment claim" and looking at topics of interest.

Florida extends unemployment benefits for about 250,000 jobless 06/02/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 2:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. To catch a poacher: Florida wildlife officers set up undercover gator farm sting

    Wildlife

    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, state wildlife officers created the ultimate undercover operation.

    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up an undercover operation. They created their own alligator farm, complete with plenty of real, live alligators, watched over by real, live undercover wildlife officers. It also had hidden video cameras to record everything that happened. That was two years ago, and on Wednesday wildlife officers announced that they arrested nine people on  44 felony charges alleging they broke wildlife laws governing alligator harvesting, transporting eggs and hatchlings across state lines, dealing in stolen property, falsifying records, racketeering and conspiracy. The wildlife commission released these photos of alligators, eggs and hatchlings taken during the undercover operation. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  2. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Demonstrators protests the passage of a House Republican health care bill, outside the the Capitol in Washington, on May 4. The House took the unusual step of voting on the American Health Care Act before the Congressional Budget Office could assess it. That analysis was released Thursday and it showed the bill would cause 23 million fewer people to have health insurance by 2026. Many additional consumers would see skimpier health coverage and higher deductibles, the budget office projected.
  3. Florida Specialty Insurance acquires Pinellas Park's Mount Beacon Insurance

    Banking

    Tens of thousands of homeowners who were pushed out of Citizens Property Insurance for a private carrier since 2014 are finding themselves changing insurance companies yet again.

  4. Marijuana extract Epidiolex helps some kids with epilepsy, study shows

    Health

    A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

    An employee checks a plant at LeafLine Labs, a medical marijuana production facility in Cottage Grove, Minn. [Associated Press (2015)]
  5. St. Pete Economic Development Corporation lures marketing firm MXTR to town

    Economic Development

    St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation has lured its first big catch to St. Petersburg — MXTR Automation. The digital marketing company announced Wednesday that it will fill 20 "high-wage" creative positions within the next 18 months, as well as open an office in downtown St. Petersburg this year.