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Gov. DeSantis: State will apply for federal program that provides additional benefits for out-of-work Floridians

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Posted at 3:20 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 18:45:31-04

If you are currently receiving Reemployment Assistance from Florida, you could soon be getting an additional $300 per week.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) will submit Florida's application to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program.

The federal program provides additional temporary benefits for individuals who are eligible for Reemployment Assistance for weeks of unemployment ending on or after August 1, 2020.

Once Florida's participation is approved at the federal level, this will allow the state to offer an additional $300 per week to eligible Reemployment Assistance claimants.

To be eligible for the benefit, claimants must be currently receiving at least $100 in an approved Reemployment Assistance program weekly benefit amount and must certify that they are unemployed or partially employed due to circumstances caused by COVID-19.

Once Florida's application is approved, payments will be retroactive to August 1, 2020.

“On behalf of Floridians who are continuing to face challenges finding employment, I would like to thank President Trump for providing additional funding while they get back on their feet,” said Governor DeSantis. “We appreciate the opportunity to provide this temporary assistance through the Lost Wages Assistance program.”

The additional $300 benefit from the LWA funds is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This includes individuals receiving:

• State Reemployment Assistance, including Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX)

• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

• Extended Benefits (EB)

• Short-Time Compensation (STC)

• Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA)

• Payments under the Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program

No additional application is necessary for eligible claimants to receive their benefit. Eligible Floridians who are currently receiving Reemployment Assistance will receive their LWA benefits the same week they receive their weekly Reemployment Assistance benefits.

Claimants are encouraged to utilize direct deposit as their means of receiving benefits to ensure payments are received as quickly as possible.

Funding for the program comes from FEMA disaster relief funds.

States should be able to receive approximately three weeks' worth of benefits upon approval, with additional weekly approval being granted depending on the remaining balance of the fund. DeSantis' office says that funding could end at any time.