The federal CARES Act allowing unemployment benefits of up to $600 per week expired on July 31, 2020. Unfortunately, the need for these monies continues as many unemployed workers remain without jobs after July 31, 2020 because of the pandemic. There is hope on the horizon that these workers will receive some additional unemployment benefits retroactive to August 1, 2020.
On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an executive memorandum authorizing extended unemployment compensation benefits. According to the executive memorandum, states will receive additional funding for extended unemployment benefits if they opt in to the Lost Wages Assistance program. On August 24, 2020, Florida opted to participate in this program and on August 30, 2020, FEMA approved Florida’s participation.
What does this mean?
Florida will now be able to provide up to an additional $300 from federal funds per week to eligible unemployed workers. To receive these additional funds, claimants must:
- currently receive at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefits; and
- certify that they remain unemployed or partially unemployed due the pandemic.
These additional payments will be retroactive to August 1, 2020. There will be no need for unemployed workers to separately apply for these benefits if they are already receiving state unemployment.
So, how long will these benefits last? As of now, the extended unemployment will be available for as long as funding is available and who knows how long that will take. In any event, as long as the funding is available, the extended benefits will expire after December 6, 2020.