Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Florida News

Federal Unemployment Programs on tap
Newly Extended Payments Begin

Agency for Workforce Innovation Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo today announced the agency has begun making additional federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) payments, less than a week after President Obama signed legislation extending eligibility dates for the program by two months.  AWI Unemployment Compensation and Information Technology staff worked diligently to update programming required by the changes so that payments could begin as quickly as possible.

• The new law did not add any additional weeks of benefits.
• Beneficiaries who are potentially eligible for additional EUC benefits will be notified by mail.
• Beneficiaries who believe they may be eligible may begin certifying their weeks immediately a Floridajobs.org or by calling (800) 204-2418.

“Ensuring timely payments to the unemployment compensation beneficiaries who depend on us is a top priority of this agency, and a responsibility we take very seriously,” said Director Lorenzo.  “I encourage all beneficiaries who recently received a notice of final payment to contact us to determine if they are eligible for additional benefits.” 

Emergency Unemployment Compensation

There are currently four tiers of federal EUC benefits available to eligible beneficiaries.  Details on those tiers can be found on the agency’s website

Under the new law signed April 15, the eligibility date to qualify for EUC Tier I was extended until May 22 and the eligibility dates for Tier II, III and IV were extended until May 29. The new law extended eligibility dates by approximately two months but did not add new weeks of benefits. 

Because the new eligibility dates were approved by Congress after the previous deadlines had passed, some beneficiaries have begun receiving final payment notices in the mail.

The agency is now mailing notices of the new eligibility dates to potentially eligible beneficiaries.  In the meantime, those who believe they may be eligible under the new dates should visit Florida Jobs or call (800) 204-2418 to certify for any weeks to which they may be entitled.  Certifying online is the quickest and most efficient way to process payments.

Federal Additional Compensation

Under the new law, beneficiaries who establish an unemployment compensation claim by May 30, 2010 will also be eligible to receive Federal Additional Compensation payments of $25 weekly, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Due to the extension of the eligibility period, beneficiaries who are eligible will automatically receive a retroactive FAC payment. The FAC program ends in December.

Extended Benefits

The federal legislation also provided an extension of federal funding for Extended Benefits (EB) in states that are currently in an EB period.  The agency is monitoring legislation pending in the Florida Legislature (SB 1736) that would make the necessary statutory revisions to allow Florida to take advantage of this additional federal funding.  Visit Florida Jobs and click on “Hot Topics” under Quick Links for updates.

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