June 1, 2020

Floridians who have exhausted state unemployment may be eligible for more weeks of pay under new federal program [Orlando Sentinel]

This post was last updated on December 8, 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.

Caroline Glenn writes:

"A new federal program has extended the number of weeks that out-of-work Florida residents can collect unemployment, a potential lifeline for workers who will soon exhaust their limited state benefits.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, was made available May 25, offering workers who have already used up their 12 weeks of state benefits an additional 13 weeks in federal aid. The program was created when Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in late March, but Florida had not yet made the application available.


'We know that unemployment is at record highs and yet our duration is still 12 weeks because it’s calculated on a period in the past that has nothing to do with the situation right now,' said Cindy Huddleston, a senior policy analyst with the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added]. 'It’s not a secret that the program has not been one that takes care of workers who’ve lost jobs through no fault of their own.'

'This has been going on for years. It’s just the sheer numbers ... that have made it the focus point of the media.'"


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