AWI Begins Payments of Extended Unemployment Benefits (07/02/09)

For Immediate Release 
July 2, 2009  

Robby Cunningham (850) 245-7130


AWI Begins Payments of Extended Unemployment Benefits

~An estimated $418 million in recovery funds to assist unemployed Floridians this year~


TALLAHASSEE The Agency for Workforce Innovation announced today that payments have begun for Floridians who applied and are eligible for Extended Unemployment Compensation Benefits, recently made available through a change in state law and underwritten by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  An estimated 250,000 Floridians will be eligible for the program, which lasts through the end of the year.

“Extended Benefits will provide financial support to an estimated 250,000 Floridians who have exhausted all other unemployment compensation,” said AWI Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo.  “As we assist Floridians in finding new jobs, these funds provide an additional safety net to our customers and their families while also reinvigorating our state’s economy with the infusion of an estimated $418 million in federal recovery funds.”  

Payments began today and will be retroactive to February 22 for eligible Floridians.  The initial retroactive payments may be as high as $5,100 for some people, with additional payments of as much as $300 a week for up to a total of 20 weeks.  To date, AWI has received more than 73,000 applications for Extended Benefits, which may be applied for online at    

To receive Extended Benefits individuals must:

  • Be totally or partially unemployed
  • Not be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits in any other state (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) or Canada
  • Be actively seeking work and provide work search documentation for each week claimed
  • Not refuse an offer of suitable work or fail to apply for suitable work
  • Exhaust all entitlement to regular and Emergency Unemployment Compensation after February 22, 2009


  • Exhaust all entitlement to regular and Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits prior to February 22, 2009, and have established a claim benefit year that ends after February 22, 2009

Eligible Floridians are invited to apply online at, which is the most efficient way to process claims.  For those who do not have internet access, forms are mailed from the Agency for Workforce Innovation to Floridians identified as potentially eligible and may be filled out and returned with an enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope.

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 or call 800-204-2418.

For more information about Florida’s use of the federal recovery dollars made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, please visit

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