Governor Crist Signs Important Unemployment Compensation Legislation
~New Law Provides Additional Unemployment Benefits and Enhances Link Between Unemployment Compensation Beneficiaries and Job Opportunities~
TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today signed Senate Bill (SB) 1736, extending eligibility dates for the Extended Benefits (EB) program. The EB program provides unemployment compensation to job seekers who have exhausted all other available benefits and meet all requirements. Governor Crist announced that the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation will begin accepting EB applications at its Web site www.floridajobs.org, on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
"As Florida’s economy continues to recover, these federally-funded benefits will provide critical financial assistance to job seekers and their families," said Governor Crist. “These funds will also provide a significant impact to Florida’s economy, infusing millions of dollars to our local communities.”
SB 1736 allows payment of benefits to individuals who meet eligibility requirements during an Extended Benefits period, in this case through June 5, 2010. This program utilizes federal stimulus funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will bring an estimated $128 million in benefits to approximately 107,000 Floridians.
“Through the leadership of Governor Crist and our legislative partners, these Extended Benefits will provide financial support to more than 100,000 Floridians in need,” said Agency for Workforce Innovation Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo. “This new law will also strengthen the reemployment focus of Florida’s workforce system by allowing our agency to better link unemployment compensation beneficiaries with job opportunities.”
Additionally, SB 1736 provides the agency with new tools to enhance accuracy and timeliness of benefit payments, which will result in an estimated annual savings of $20 million to Florida’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund.
Floridians who may benefit from the extended eligibility dates for EB include:
- Those who previously received EB and still have EB entitlement could receive up to 20 weeks, which would include weeks previously paid.
- Those who have exhausted all regular and federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits, or will exhaust all benefits prior to June 5, 2010, could receive up to 14 weeks of benefits, depending on the date they exhaust EUC benefits.
- The legislation does not provide for EB entitlement remaining on claims after June 5, 2010.
Unemployment compensation beneficiaries who believe they may be eligible must apply for EB. The agency is mailing applications to potentially eligible beneficiaries and will begin accepting EB claims online at www.floridajobs.org on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
For more information on Extended Benefits, please visit www.floridajobs.org or call 1-800-204-2418.