Unemployment Insurance Extensions in Florida

Applying for state and federal unemployment extension can be difficult depending on the economic situation at the time. Recipients of Florida’s Reemployment Assistance (RA) program wonder how to get an unemployment extension prior to the conclusion of their claim, which is only 26 weeks at the most under standard circumstances. Unemployment benefits extensions in Florida are available to claim in certain situations. When UI enrollees exhaust their maximum benefit amount, they typically must wait before applying for another unemployment claim. UI participants can discover the amount and length of unemployment compensation in Florida by downloading our free guide here. However, when unemployment compensation extensions become activate, it is important for RA enrollees to know how the process works. For more information on unemployment extensions in Florida, review the following sections:

  • When Florida unemployment compensation extension plans activate
  • What to do when unemployment extensions are unavailable in Florida
  • What to do when an unemployment extension is available in Florida
  • Former Florida unemployment benefits extensions and upcoming expectations

When Florida Unemployment Compensation Extension Plans Activate

“What can I do to extend unemployment benefits?” is a question that many Florida Unemployment Insurance participants have when nearing the end of their unemployment claim. An unemployment benefits extension is not always available for enrollees. Depending on the timing and circumstances, Reemployment Assistance participants in Florida may not be able to extend their benefits.

When activated, the federal unemployment extension provides eligible UI enrollees in all states with additional benefit weeks. The federal government passes funds onto state agencies. In Florida, the state agency responsible for administering these national unemployment compensation extension funds, as well as initial unemployment benefits, is the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). However, the federal unemployment extension is only available during times when unemployment levels are particularly high.

How to get an unemployment extension is up to the DEO. Interested unemployment claimants must be aware that, even if extensions happen to be available, not all claimants qualify to have their unemployment benefits extended. The DEO determines who qualifies for an unemployment extension in Florida based on each individual case. Since initial Florida unemployment benefits last for up to 26 weeks, it is in the best interest of each unemployment beneficiary to find new employment during that time frame if possible. The DEO provides programs and classes for unemployment claimants to help them find work and requires claimants to participate in those activities for that reason.

What to do When Unemployment Extensions are Unavailable in Florida

Unemployment benefits extension unavailability is something that UI claimants should be aware of from the beginning. The DEO provides information on whether or not an unemployment compensation extension is available at any given time. If there is no benefits extension for unemployment available, the unemployment claimant may need to explore other means of assistance such as other financial assistance programs in Florida.

Unemployment extensions are not the only form of assistance available for unemployed Florida residents. Examples of other available programs include the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Weatherization Assistance Program, both of which can help unemployment claimants who are losing their benefits to lower their monthly bill payments. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides cash benefits to low-income Florida residents.

What to do When an Unemployment Extension is Available in Florida

“How can I extend unemployment when extended benefits are available in Florida?” is an easily answerable question. All unemployment claimants who are eligible for an unemployment benefits extension in Florida will receive letters notifying them of their eligibility for lengthened benefits. Unemployment claimants simply follow the instructions on the Florida unemployment extension form to continue receiving their benefits. The number of additional weeks will be included on the form. Unemployment claimants who believe they may be eligible for an unemployment compensation extension but do not receive a letter of automatic qualification should contact the Florida DEO at least two weeks before their initial benefits run out. Find out about eligibility for additional unemployment benefits by clicking here and downloading our comprehensive guide.

Former Florida Unemployment Benefits Extensions and Upcoming Expectations

Unemployment benefits extensions in Florida have provided additional UI weeks in previous years through various programs. One federal unemployment extension, Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), allowed some Florida unemployment beneficiaries to claim up to 33 weeks of benefits after completing their initial 26 weeks of claims. This national unemployment extension was based on a tier system and available in all states when activated. After claimants exhausted each tier, some would be eligible for further financial assistance as part of the next tier. There were four tiers total. The EUC program’s number of benefit weeks changed several times throughout its run, which officially ended on January 1, 2014.

Extended Benefits (EB) was a second unemployment extension program that was formerly available in Florida. EB was available in several states. Residents of Florida who were eligible for EB, which ended in April of 2012, could receive 20 additional weeks of unemployment benefits if they qualified.

When a new unemployment benefits extension program will be available in Florida is unpredictable. The availability of extended benefits is entirely dependent on the state’s unemployment levels at any given time. Likewise, during natural disasters affect businesses, employees and residents of Florida, Disaster Unemployment Assistance may become available.

What Assistance Benefits Does the Department of Children and Families Provide?

Various assistance benefits are available to residents of Florida through the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Families can receive benefits that allow them to buy nutritious groceries, save money on school lunch for their children and obtain temporary financial assistance. Additionally, petitioners who qualify for one assistance program are also typically eligible for other benefits in Florida. Find out how to qualify for benefits through Florida’s DCF and how to apply for them by downloading our comprehensive guide.

Who Can Receive Assistance Benefits in Florida?

Each assistance program offered through Florida’s Department of Children and Families has various eligibility qualifications that petitioners must meet in order to enroll. Household size and income are only a few factors that are typically taken into account. For more details on eligibility for Florida DCF assistance programs, download our guide.