New law extends jobless benefits to Floridians

By Palm Beach

TALLAHASSEE – Beginning in July, about 250,000 state residents will be eligible for as much as $300 a week in extended unemployment compensation under legislation signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist.

The money will come to Florida as part of the federal economic stimulus package know formally as through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“In conjunction with this law taking effect, we have launched an online application for extended benefits at to begin processing these critical payments to eligible Floridians as quickly as possible,” said Cynthia Lorenzo, interim director of Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation. “This new law will provide a financial lifeline to an estimated 250,000 Floridians who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and boost our state’s economy with the infusion of an estimated $418 million in federal recovery funds through the end of the year.”

Payments will begin in early July and will be made retroactive to February 22 for eligible claimants.  The initial retroactive payments may 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.

To receive extended benefits individuals must:

Eligible Floridians are invited to apply online at, which is the most efficient way to process claims. The agency will mail forms to those without internet access beginning June 3.

The new law also includes a number of provisions designed to keep premiums low for small businesses.

For a comprehensive list of questions and answers about Extended Benefits, please visit  For more information about AWI’s unemployment compensation programs, including Extended Benefits, please visit

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JUNE 2, 2009 click to go home
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