Cindy Huddleston
August 9, 2021

Florida's Early Withdrawal from FPUC Hurts Families and Local Economies

This post was last updated on September 29, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

More than 840,000 Floridians were likely shocked when they discovered that, effective June 26, 2021, their unemployment assistance was $300 less a week than it had been for most of the pandemic.

Governor Ron DeSantis withdrew Florida early from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC) amid the state’s declining unemployment rate and anecdotal claims that federal relief programs encourage the labor force to stay at home rather than work. FPUC is a 100 percent federally funded program that provides an additional $300 a week in unemployment insurance (UI) to people who are out of work due to the pandemic.

The governor’s decision to bow out of FPUC early is harmful to Floridians and state and local economies.

Note: Citations are included in full brief

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