Extended Unemployment Benefits Flowing
Thirty thousand unemployed Floridians will get a welcome surprise in their mailboxes this week.
Checks for up to $300 a week go in the mail to the unemployed who have exhausted all of their benefits. However, the extended benefits aren’t automatic, and recipients must apply, according to the Capitol News Service.
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 (26 weeks) and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (33) after February 22, 2009
The extended unemployment benefits are retroactive to Feb. 22. For those who have already applied, checks totaling as much as $5,100 dollars will be in the mail this week. As many as 250,000 Floridians could be eligible.
Jessie Schrimsher is one of them. He says navigating the system is complicated.
“It’s kinda like doing your income tax,” Schrimsher said. “Kinda the same thing. You’ve got to be an attorney almost.”
In addition to being complicated, both state unemployment hotlines are swamped.
The state says if you can’t get through on the phone, apply online. And unlike past extensions, doing nothing will get you nothing.
Applications can be found at FloridaJobs.org.
An estimated $418 million in extended benefits are expected to be paid out to Floridians by the end of the year, according to the news service.
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