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Federal Unemployment Money Will Be Distributed This Week

Gov. DeSantis announced that the extra $300 per week – for up to three weeks – in federal unemployment assistance will go out this week and be retroactive to Aug. 1.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida will start adding $300 of federal money to weekly unemployment benefits as COVID-19 continues keeping hundreds of thousands of residents out of work, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday.

The short-term aid, through the Federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, is also retroactive to include weeks of unemployment ending on or after Aug. 1.

“These additional funds will provide critical support to Florida's unemployed workforce due to COVID-19,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement.

Florida will administer the program similar to the federal assistance program that expired in July, and unemployment applicants don’t need to file additional paperwork, the governor’s office said. Most Floridians will get the added federal benefits the same way they receive their weekly state assistance.

However, paper checks will be issued to people who get assistance through debit cards.

Florida provides up to $275 a week in unemployment assistance for 12 weeks, and had an 11.3% jobless rate in July, representing 1.125 million unemployed people. Since mid-March, the state has distributed nearly $14.96 billion to 1.95 million unemployment applicants, with more than $11.7 billion coming from the federal government. The original federal program provided $600 in additional weekly benefits.

Floridians who are already eligible for at least $100 a week in state assistance and are out of work because of the pandemic will be eligible for the new federal funding. President Donald Trump issued a directive on Aug. 8 to use Federal Emergency Management Agency money for the program.

Source: News Service of Florida