Make us your home page

Floridians start to receive extended unemployment benefit payments

Payments began Thursday for Floridians who have been approved for extended unemployment insurance benefits, according to the state agency overseeing payouts.

The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation said about 250,000 Floridians will be eligible for the additional benefits, which are funded through the $418 million the state received in federal stimulus money.

The program targets those who have exhausted their benefits as the recession has stretched into the longest economic downturn since World War II.

Payments will be retroactive as far back as Feb. 22. Depending on circumstances, some may be eligible for retroactive payments as high as $5,100, with additional payments of as much as $300 a week for up to 20 weeks.

The best way for longtime unemployed to apply, the AWI said, is to go to or to complete and return an application received in the mail.

For questions about extended benefits that cannot be handled online, applicants should call toll-free 1-888-896-0091.

Since announcing the program, the AWI said it has received more than 73,000 applications. However, it has also parried complaints from those who were told they didn't qualify when applying online and others who have struggled to reach the agency by phone to discuss their cases.

As state unemployment has doubled to eclipse 10 percent, the AWI has been swamped with calls. Frustrated callers have struggled to get past a "call back later" recorded message.

Last month, the state opened an overflow call center in Orlando that it hopes eventually will handle up to 10,000 calls a day.

Data out July 17

Florida's June unemployment and details on how various industries are faring will be released July 17. Florida's unemployment rate in May had catapulted to 10.2 percent, the highest since 1975, with nearly 943,000 Floridians out of work. In the Tampa Bay area, May unemployment stood at 10.6 percent, up from 5.9 percent a year earlier. Some economists predict a continued rise this summer, in part reflecting recent graduates unable to find work.

Floridians start to receive extended unemployment benefit payments 07/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 9:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Foundation Partners buys Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home


    ST. PETERSBURG — Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.

    Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation


    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]
  4. Florida ranks high for workplace equality between men and women

    Working Life

    When it comes to the workplace, Florida ranks fifth in terms of gender equality, a WalletHub study released Tuesday found.

    Florida ranks high in terms of equality between men and women in the workplace. Pictured is Sandra Murman, county commissioner in 2015, talking about the differences in pay between men and women. | [Times file photo]
  5. Treasury secretary's wife boasts of travel on government plane, touts high fashion


    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post that only became more bizarre minutes later.

    Steven Mnuchin and his then- financee Louise Linton watch as President Donald Trump speaks during Mnuchin's swearing-in ceremony as  treasury secretary in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 13. [Mandel Ngan | AFP via Getty Images]