Florida sees one-week increase of 10 percent in unemployment assistance applications

by | Mar 20, 2020

Earlier this week, Florida posted a historic low unemployment rate of 2.8%, just as the state entered a statewide shutdown due to coronavirus. Governor Ron DeSantis also outlined a plan to help small businesses impacted by the economic slowdown.

With bars and nightclubs closing for 30 days, and restaurants coping with social distancing orders requiring them to operate in a reduced capacity, Florida’s tourism economy is getting clobbered.

According to data from Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the state is already seeing a significant uptick in filings for Reemployment Assistance. Last week, DEO received 5,325 applications for Reemployment Assistance. The week before they saw 4,853 applications, a one-week increase of more than 9.7 percent.

If a Floridian’s employment has been negatively impacted as a result of the mitigation efforts in Florida to stop the spread of COVID-19, they may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance.

Individuals who may be eligible for Reemployment Assistance may include:

  • Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency,
  • Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns, or
  • Those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Individuals whose employment has been impacted, but are still receiving wages through paid leave are not eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance.

DEO is encouraging Floridians to check out the FAQ page for answers to questions they may have. The department also announced they are increasing their in staff to better assist people across the state. Additionally, the call center will be open 7 days a week, beginning Monday, March 23, and the agency will authorize overtime for its employees to ensure additional capacity.



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