Florida Opts Out Of $300 Federal Unemployment Benefit To Push People Back To Workforce
Charities prepare for rise in need as unemployment benefit ends
Catherine Hawley reports
TAMPA, Fla. – Florida is now one of 26 states to end pandemic unemployment benefits early. Over the weekend, federal payments of $300 a week expired for Floridians.
Meanwhile, employers across Tampa Bay have had a hard time filling open positions.
Anna Maria Oyster Bar has four locations in Manatee County and owner John Horne tells us they are down at least 10 people at each restaurant.
“I’ve got one of my restaurants that I have not had an applicant for the kitchen in two months. No one’s walked in the door looking for a job for two months,” said Horne. “We’re using Indeed we’re using Facebook, we’re using all the different, Craigslist, you name it. We’re trying to get people in to come back and work.”
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On June 26, Florida cut off extra $300 weekly unemployment payments through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program. The state made the decision to optout of that additional benefit as part of its “Return to Work” initiative, a move Horne hopes will bring more workers through his doors.
“Over the last week, we have seen an uptick in applicants,” he said.
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According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, 503,000 people remain jobless in the Sunshine State, while more than 510,000 jobs are available.
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“The federal government does not allow benefit payments to be made for weeks of unemployment after Sept, 4, even if you have a balance left on your claim at that time,”according to California’s Employment Development Department.
The so-called benefits cliff will impact more than 11 million people who are poised to lose aid entirely or see a smaller check each week, according to estimates from the Century Foundation.
Federal lawmakers passed legislation twice in the past year to avert a benefits cliff, so another extension seems unlikely.
“I don’t think there’s any appetite for that,” Urban Institute labor economist Wayne Vroman said. “I think given the strength of the recovery and the labor market recovery, there’s basically no possibility of that happening.”
If Congress doesn’t act, federal benefits will cease for the self-employed, gig workers, long-term unemployed and others typically ineligible for state benefits. A $300 weekly benefit supplement will also end.
Twenty-six states ended federal benefits in June or July, well before their Labor Day cutoff.
The state governors, primarily Republican, cited labor shortages, claiming enhanced benefits were keeping people from looking for work. Research published in recent weeks suggests benefits played a muted role in any lack of workers, however.
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Florida To Turn Away $300 Federal Unemployment Aid Next Month
TALLAHASSEE Floridas unemployment agency announced Monday that it would stop jobless Floridians from receiving an additional $300 in weekly benefits next month.
The Department of Economic Opportunity announced the state would stop participating in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program starting the week of June 27.
The program, which was set to run out in September, has been giving jobless Floridians an additional $300 in weekly benefits on top of eligible state benefits, which top out at $275 per week, one of the lowest rates in the nation.
Beginning June 26, 2021, will no longer participate in providing the $300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits in addition to Reemployment Assistance weekly benefits. Read more:
Florida DEO May 24, 2021
The state said it made the decision to end the program early to get Floridians to return to work. Companies have been experiencing labor shortages in the wake of the pandemic, and business groups have been asking states to do away with the benefits.
The jobs are there, Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference on Monday. Im confident, with almost half a million job openings, that people are going to be able to get a job and get back to work.
At least 22 states, all with Republican governors, have already said they were withdrawing early from the federal program.
Florida To Start Paying Extra $300 In Federal Aid To Unemployed Individuals
Unemployed Floridians to begin receiving federal benefits
Elizabeth Fry reports
Not knowing where your next paycheck is going to come from is never easy, but for unemployed Floridians, the good news is that help is on the way starting this week,
On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that anyone who qualifies for the ‘Lost Wages Assistance Program’ should be receiving their money this week.
The program is designed to help those who are unemployed and financially struggling due to the pandemic. For the next three weeks, those individuals who qualify will receive $300 in federal aid on top of any benefits and assistance that they may be receiving through other state or federal programs.
According to the tovernor, the benefits will be retroactive to August 1, August 8, and August 15. Those are the three weeks after Congress canceled the $600 weekly checks that many were receiving through pandemic benefits.
These funds are coming at a crucial time for many, but some Florida lawmakers think more still needs to be done.
Floridians still have to qualify to get these funds. The DEO states that if you are getting at least $100 a week already in benefits through a federal or state program, and youve also proven that youre unemployed or partially unemployed due to the pandemic, you will automatically receive the lost wages benefits. Those who meet those qualifications dont need to do anything to receive the funds.
To see a full list of who qualifies for the program, .
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Ronnie Oneal To Allow Attorneys To Represent Him During Penalty Phase
More than 2.3 million Floridians were eligible for the $300 a week additional pandemic payments that end Saturday.
Yes there is a workforce shortage, but to completely blame it on unemployed people is wrong, said State Representative Anna Eskamani.
Eskamanis office has been ground zero for helping the unemployed navigate benefits.
Some are still furloughed, some have child care expenses, some are too old to be on their feet all day, in the sense they dont have the ability to do that. They need a job that can meet their level of skill and comfort, said Eskamani.
So far the idea that people arent working because they can make more staying home is unproven, but the picture could be clearer after the $300 a week checks end Saturday.
Floridas unemployed have also been required to actively look for work to collect benefits since the end of May.
Waiting Week Waiver Expiration
Under normal circumstances, a person would have to wait one week after applying for unemployment benefits before becoming eligible to receive them. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order during the pandemic waiving this rule in an effort to speed up benefit distribution.
That waiver ended on June 26, 2021.
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Extra $300 Unemployment Under Lost Wages Assistance Program
Florida has completed paying out the $300 UI supplementary weekly payment under the Lost Wages Assistance program. Payments had started from September 8th for claimants whose current weekly benefit amount , prior to taxes and other deductions was at least $100 prior to the week ending August 1, 2020. If you were already receiving unemployment benefits, you didnt need to do anything additional to qualify for this payment.
Florida DEO confirmed it will only pay out only four weeks of additional jobless aid, rather than the six weeks provided under the program. FEMA which is overseeing the effort, however has said last week it would provide six weeks of funding, as it is to other states that are still processing payments. Because Florida doesnt have enough workers who earn at least $100 in state unemployment aid to qualify the FL DEO has said they wont be applying for the remaining 2 weeks of LWA funding available.
The new Lost Wages program however does cut the federal benefit in half since the state cannot afford to boost the benefit by the additional $100 state contribution requested by Trump.
Based on the many comments below, which have lots of questions and helpful suggestions here is some updated information on the enhanced benefits currently being paid in Florida. See the original details and details to file a claim in the updates below.
Are Reemployment Assistance benefits retroactive to the day I lost my job?
Phase 2 Staggered Lwa Payments Ca Ny Pa Nc
Due to the volume of payments and the fact that FEMA is approving/funding for remaining weeks several state like California and New York are paying the last few weeks of the LWA program. You can see this noted in the table and across the many comments below. So if you do see a delay between your first and subsequent rounds of payment it is likely due to the staggered nature of payments. Unfortunately states have not always been clear on the timing for these phase 2 payments as they are dependent of FEMA approval/funding and internal processing so many eligible claimants are facing delays in getting all their LWA payments.
The table is updated regularly as new information comes to hand. You can also follow my and feeds for micro real-time updates.
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These Are The 34 States That Will Begin Adding $300 To Weekly Unemployment Checks
- The coronavirus has left millions of Americans without a source of income.
- As a result, the number of unemployment claims earlier this year reached levels the U.S. had never seen before.
- The $600 bump in unemployment benefits expired on July 31, but 30 states have been approved to issue an additional $300 in weekly benefits.
The economic downturn ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic is hard to overstate. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, millions of Americans earlier this year found themselves jobless, stuck at home, and with no avenues to seek employment elsewhere. With many Americans struggling to make ends meet, the number of unemployment claims around the country jumped to record levels.
To help alleviate the financial predicament many Americans find themselves still struggling with, President Trump back in March signed a $2 million stimulus package that included a $600 increase in unemployment benefits. The $600 increase expired on July 31 but new benefits are on the way. As you may have heard, FEMA recently approved a $300 bump in unemployment benefits for individuals in about 30 states. Some states have yet to apply for the increase, so that figure may change going forward.
As it stands now, the states that have been approved to dole out an extra bit of cash in unemployment benefits is as follows:
To this point, CNN explains:
Get Insights Into Florida Politics
He said he his now facing substantial wage inflation as he confronts the worker shortage though he also said he was behind on raising pay because he did not grant pandemic bonuses.
He said he has been able to prevent raising most menu prices for now because sales have been so strong, but that that wont last forever.
Im hopeful were a much bigger piece of the puzzle than we think, Flanigan said.
Federal unemployment benefits were a critical lifeline for the millions of Floridians who lost their jobs during the pandemic. The maximum state benefits come to just $6.87 per hour, well below the states minimum wage, and an amount that cant cover rent for many Floridians. The maximum amount has not changed since 1998, and state lawmakers not to increase it.
Congress decided to subsidize state unemployment systems by offering an additional $600 per week last year. In all, Floridians have received more than $22 billion in federal benefits and $5.9 billion in state benefits, according to the state.
One state lawmaker encouraged officials to reconsider the decision to stop federal benefits.
Its shameful that Floridas political leaders would choose ideological talking points and call workers lazy versus listen to the obstacles workers have faced in finding suitable work in our still recovering economy, said Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, in a statement.
Times/Herald staff writer Kirby Wilson contributed to this report.
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A New $300 Supplementary Unemployment Payment In 2021
As part of ongoing discussions around an extension to unemployment benefits in the latest stimulus bill, lawmakers are reaching consensus on a supplementary $300 payment for up to 12 weeks between Jan 2021 and March 2021. This will likely work similar to the LWA program . Details on how this will be managed and if any additional eligibility criteria are still to be released, but it is highly likely this payment will start in New Year. I will post updates as more information comes to hand.
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With the expiration of the FPUC program and the $600 weekly payment at the end of July, many unemployed or underemployed individuals were left high and dry until the LWA program was put in place via President Trumps Executive order. The Lost Wages Assistance program is in effect from August 1st to the last week in December, but per the table below states are now paying out under this program but will likely take several weeks for some state UI agencies who are administering the payments along with other enhanced benefits to update their systems and start making payments.
However the good news per DOL and FEMA guidelines is that, similar to the $600 FPUC payments, this payment will be made retroactive to August 1 . So even though some states will likely take until late September to make these payments they will be making retroactive back payments back to the first week of August if you qualified for the payment.
Extra $300 Will Be Effective After Program Starts December 26
The ETAs guidance means that the extra $300 unemployment benefit program will restart on December 26 and first apply to the unemployment week that ends on January 2 or January 3, 2021, depending on the state. While this is when the program officially starts, it may not be when individuals see the extra funds in their accounts. The ETA released a table summarizing key dates for FPUC as well as other unemployment programs.
A summary of key dates for FPUC and other unemployment programs.
Department of Labor
Because the ETA just released official guidance, it will take states several weeks to reprogram their computer systems. Therefore, while individuals will be eligible for the $300 benefit for the unemployment week ending January 2 or 3, they may not receive payment for that week until later depending on how quickly their state can finish updating its unemployment program. That may be tough for many Americans. We are talking about people who have been getting by on less than poverty level benefits for months, so to have to go a couple of weeks with no income, until a lump sum comes in, is tough, Evermore said.
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Waiting For September 6
The extra $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits along with other federal unemployment benefits will end for all states on September 6. And in the labor market, it should become visible over the latter part of September and in October.
Companies that have been clamoring to hire workers are feverishly waiting for these weeks in September to come around when they hope their search for labor to fill job openings will be met with greater interest. And todays data indicates that many people, once the federal benefits run out, will indeed begin to rejoin the labor force.
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Florida Cuts Extra $300 Weekly Unemployment Payments
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced the state will stop its participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, the $300 per week supplemental FPUC payment, effective June 26, 2021, as part of DEOs Return to Work initiative.
The state calls it another key step to returning more Floridians to work, following Aprils labor statistics which show total private-sector employment increased by 18,800 jobs and more than 460,000 online job postings available throughout the state for job seekers.
Additional federal Reemployment Assistance benefit programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance , Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation , and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation , will continue for the time being as DEO continues to carefully monitor job posting and industry hiring trends. These additional federal benefit programs are set to expire on September 6, 2021.
Florida will be dropping its federal benefits boost early, announced this morning. said the option was on the table a few weeks ago.
Forrest Saunders May 24, 2021
For the week beginning June 27, 2021, eligible Reemployment Assistance claimants will no longer receive the supplemental $300 weekly FPUC payment.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Charlie Crist slammed the move by DeSantis.
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