Florida Unemployment Benefits Extension – 20 More Weeks

Update – Feb 7, 2011 – Legislation to add extra weeks for 99ers

Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Bobby Scott (Va.) are reintroducing legislation this week to provide additional weeks of unemployment insurance benefits for “99ers,”

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In 2009, the 2009 stimulus package was created by President Obama and provided extra funding for states to extend the length of unemployment benefits if necessary.  Most states have a fixed number of weeks available for benefits but can increase the number of weeks if necessary.  The Florida unemployment rate in April was 9.6%.

The state of Florida recently approved an extension of the unemployment benefits by 20 weeks as a result of Senate Bill 810 sponsored by Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Miami and Rep. Dave Murzin, R-Pensacola.  This applies to unemployed persons who have already used up the previous maximum of 59 weeks of unemployment benefits.  The legislation allowing this EB extension was signed by Governor Charlie Crist and will provide more benefits for up to 250,000 unemployed Floridians.  The payments will be up to $300 per week.

The money to pay for these extended benefits will come from the stimulus package of 2009 – about $415 million in total.

The agency responsible for these benefits is called the Agency for Workforce Innovation – they expect to start sending out the extended benefit checks in July.  According to a spokesman from the agency Robby Cunningham – some people might be able to collect benefits retroactive to February of 2009.

“It’s actually retroactive to February 22nd of this year so some qualifying receiptence could receive initial payments up to 5,100 dollars.”

Please note that any retroactive payments will be from February 22, 2009 or when your last claim ran out – whichever is later.

How to apply for extended benefits

If you qualify for the extended 20 weeks then you still have to apply – go to and click on the big red “Extended Benefits” square near the top of the right side of the screen.  The actual link which will open up the application form is here.  You can also fill in and mail the EB application to the address indicated on the EB notice/application you will be receiving in the mail.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

Here are a few guidelines you can use to determine eligibility:

  • You are totally or partially unemployed.
  • You exhaust all entitlement to regular and emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) benefits prior to February 22, 2009 but your benefit year ends after February 22, 2009.
  • You exhaust all entitlement to regular and emergency unemployment compensation benefits after February 22, 2009.
  • You are not eligible for unemployment compensation benefits in any state (including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, The District of Columbia) or Canada.
  • You satisfy all requirements of the Florida UC Law that apply to regular UC and EB, such as being able and available for work, and have not been disqualified from receiving benefits based on your reason for separation.
  • You actively seek work for each EB week claimed and provide the work search record as instructed.
  • You do not refuse an offer of suitable work or fail to apply for suitable work.


698 replies on “Florida Unemployment Benefits Extension – 20 More Weeks” KEEP those LETTERS coming to our Reps in both houses. Rachel Maddow caught Obama economist flat-footed when she asked why the 99ers aren’t include so THEY know and WE know as he said WE HAVE TO HELP THEM! So lets make sure THEY do. As the saying goes “Nothing beats a TRY but a failure” EVERYTHING ne…eded is on the above website and if you already have downloaded or copy-paste that letter then nothing to do for FAX with the FREE fax numbers listed. Keep HOPE alive with a TIER 5 in this legislation ALL the unemployed are included.

All 99ers are encouraged to contact Ms. Jackson and offer our voices to her fight to help the 99ers: On Twitter @JacksonLeeTX18 By phone: 202-225-3816 Fax: 202-225-3317…………….THIS IS OUR (99ERS) HOPE FOR THE PASSING OF TIER5 PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD

I am not surprised that they are doing this at Christmas . When youare a 99 er you have experienced this every Christmas. Christmas is their favorite time to do this.
They are sadistic and could give a you know what less.

When is their final vote?

If they vote against it, what is the next step? Anything??

That last article sent is simply ridiculous. I cannot believe some people (politicians) have lost their humanity..

Merry Christmas everyone..

Can anyone tell me if this bill 4853 passes will it also include passing of extended benefits as I am on my last week of tier 4. I called unemployment office and they don’t know anything or was it simply to pass the 4 different tiers?

Peachy, in the past EB’s deadlines mirrored the EUC extensions. However, Florida must pass legislation to enable it, and that will depend on the Florida legislature’s schedule. So, basically, if this passes, Florida still has to enact legislation independently of the EUC bill.



Can you tell me if anything was passed to go to florida’s legislature?
If so , didi it include anything for the 99rs?

thank you and Happy Holidays

Nancy, unless and until the EUC program gets an extension, there will be nothing for the Florida legislature to enact. Once the EUC programs are extended, then Florida can choose to enact legislation making the 20 weeks of EB available to everyone who has exhausted tiers 1-4. The deadline has in the past, mirrored the EUC cut off date, so there is no reason to assume, at this time, that this wouldn’t be their course of action.


Hello, I was just notified by my employer that they are reducing my full time professor position to adjunct effective 12/31/2010. I am taking at least a 75% cut in pay and losing my benefits. If I can even receive umeployment to compensate for this should I apply for unemployment now or wait until 12/31?

Also, does anyone know if the COBRA premium reduction was extended past May 31 2010? I have a baby on the way and desperately need to either keep my insurance that I have or apply for Medicaid for the baby. Thanks and God bless!

In the week ending Dec. 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 420,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 423,000. The 4-week moving average was 422,750, a decrease of 5,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 428,000.

house passed and now it goes to the president.

the 99rs were left out and it extends unemployment for all the people wh have been laid off for 26 weeks and not more than 99

SAW IT! How can they do that to us!!! We just dont matter! THERE R NO JOBS its WHO U KNOW not WHAT U KNOW!! Farther down the other side of the hill…So Sad for America.

Not only don’t we matter, but they are propagandizing the story.

Every tv station is announcing that this extention is for the long term unemployed. The 99rs are the long term unemployed and we are not included. I intend to call every tv station that wants to lay this issue to rest under the false assumption that this includes the “long term unemployed” I object to that statement and find that statement another slap in the face.

Insult to injury , the press is helping the liars just sweep us under the rug.

Maybe WIKIleaks can help us

Thank goodness I found this site. Unemployment seems to be such a low priority I have a really hard time finding up to date information. I too just claimed my last week of tier 4. If FL doesn’t come through, I will be a 99er early.

Hi Everyone! It is really sad that they didn’t pass any legislation for the 99ers. With this new bill, those currently on tiers will get to continue collecting. Also for those of you who have NEVER received EB (extended benefits), the FL legislature will surely follow the federal expiration/deadlines & open up the EB again. The FL senate will have to vote on this & then Crist or Scott (our governor) will have to sign it. There is no reason that EB would not be extended as it is federally funded & doesn’t cost the state anything. In my case, I have nothing left to collect 🙁 I was really hoping they would add more weeks to tier 4 or add a tier 5, but guess it’s not going to happen……… Best wishes to all!

Hi everyone, It is really sad that nothing was done about the 99ers… I can only image what there going through being out of work this long with no help in this economy. I am one of the people that was on Extended benefits and had a $4,000 balance when I hit the Dec 4th cut off date. I just called unemployment and they said that the Bill does not apply to people on Extended Benefits it is a totally different program that needs to go through our Fl Governor and that we are currently NOT entitled to any additional funds ..Does anyone Have any input for people that were on extended benefits ???

Ann – see my post above (Post 22). The FL legisalture will have to extend the deadline date for you to get the rest of your EB. They have always matched the Federal deadline & I’m sure they will do this again. Hopefully sooner than later.

You’re Welcome Ann! It is all very confusing….I already collected 20 weeks of EB; therefore, I cannot receive anymore. Yeah I should have said, if you already collected all 20 weeks of EB, you can’t get anymore.

Smiles to all 🙂

Hello all,

I am currently in what I believe is Tier 1 of the unemployment phase which will last me until January, I am still currently looking for any job that I can possibly do. My question to anyone is with this new extension am I able to move into Tier 2 if I am still out of work or is this just for the recently unemployed. Thank you and I am sorry about what happened to the 99ers I am praying there is some light at the end of the tunnel for all of us.


It’s so funny to me that if you look at all of our responses, one can tell we are educated and well-spoken. Why can we not find jobs? I bet you hear what I do! You are overqualified, you have a master’s degree. At this point, I don’t care. I am a single mom of two kids, just give me a job. I am in the same boat as the person above. I thought that since this bill was passed, I would continue to receive EB. I was wrong. I have 3199 left in my EB. I’m just hoping this passes for us (EBenefitors). I feel for the 99 ers. My mom is one of those. I feel so bad for her (and them).

Who does this apply to the longterm unemployed ?? What are 99ers I have been unemployed for 3 years my benifits stopped last year ?? I don’t understand they do not explain who is entitled.

Does anyone have a clue I am sure this does not apply to me they said they are gonna end letters to this entitled.

In Hollywood Florida

I am so sorry to see that all of us 99ers are once again left in the cold. My nature is that of a caring well rounded person,but of late i find myself leaning toward the ugly side. I would never begrudge anyone of collecting more unemployment, but come on… The 99ers are the ones who have been without work or a check for a very long time. Why not give us the extensions? I feel for everyone who has to go through this long progression they call unemployment,but lets see…hhmmm…miss 1 check or miss 9 months worth of checks…somehow the math just don’t add up.

copied from NY page: Maybe a bill for the 99ers

Hope this is helpful to you regarding HR 6556:
“Provisions of H.R. 6556:
••• This section provides 14 additional weeks of emergency unemployment compensation in Tier I.
••• This additional benefit will be available for those who have exhausted all their benefits (99ers and other exhaustees) as well as those who will be unemployed this year.
••• This expansion is similar to the expansion in Nov. 2009 which provided an additional week of benefits to Tier II.
••• Adding these extra weeks in Tier I makes them available for all chronically unemployed and not only those currently collecting unemployment benefits from a “high unemployment state





Nancy in FL – They just extended the deadline for 13 months….until the end of Dec 2011. Once your husband is finished with tier 3, he will automatically roll into tier 4. Tier 4 is 6 weeks. To qualify for tier 4, the unemployment rate has to be at 8.5% or higher for a 3-month average. In FL, we at ~12%. So he’ll definitely get tier 4. Right now, nothing was included for the 99ers.

Sherri – Thanks for the info 🙂

I was in the Florida extended benefits program and I have moved through all tiers with a total of 97 weeks including the extended benefits. My cut off date was Dec. 4
With what was just passed and signed by Charlie Crist- does this mean I will get 20 more weeks of extended benefits? Thank you!

In the bill that was just passed, it does NOT include the 99ers! These unemployed people have been without JOBS or BENEFITS longer than anyone else! We MUST all stand together and fight for them! I am asking ALL members to call DC and your Senators and House members and push/fight for these folks that are absolutely suffering. Here are some VERY important numbers to call: Nancy Pelosi 1-202-225-4965, Harry Reid 1-202-224-3542. The toll free numbers are 1-888-340-6522 and 1-888-245-0215.
Pelosi’s email:
Reid’s email:

PLEASE DO NOT let our fellow unemployed brothers and sisters go without, and end up homeless or even worse! PLEASE HELP Letter to copy and paste AND 4 FREE faxes to send for passage of HR 6556 before January. EVERYONE needs to do this and also target the media too. CALL your Congressman and tell them HR 6556 is the right thing to do.

kaytei – Unfortunately No…You can only get EB once for the 20 weeks max

i dont know if anyone has read this but apperantly if you did have a balance left on your extended benefits claim you will be able to continue claiming it. i found this under the section on that says apply for extended benefits.

Under current legislation, the earliest effective date for a claim for EB is December 5, 2010, or the date that you exhausted your Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), whichever is the later date. If you previously established an EB claim and have a remaining balance, you will only be able to collect the remaining balance through January 7, 2012.
Please note: Once this application has been completed, submitted

Stephanie, yes that is correct.

If anyone had a balance left on EB and then either was switched to a Tier or cut off as the legislation allowing for it passed it’s date(s), then you can collect your balance.

This happened to me when they came out with Tier 3 and 4. After I exhausted Tier 4 I rolled back to EB and collected the balance I had left.

If anyone is unsure, it won’t hurt to go apply for it. It’ll either allow you to and give a reference #, or it won’t.


Thanks for the link to the letters Mark . I just sent about 20 of them. Everyone please do the same, even if you are not a 99er yet. This is important for you too. Please do it .

I have a question I filled for unemployement lat feb.2010 I had to fight for it because my job said I quit. Long story short I won my case but I am claiming from a claim I had in 2006. Right now I am on teir 4 for 2006. I did work in 2009 for 9 months what will happen to me I have already got my eb benfits am I eligable for the year 2009? Or do I just have one week left am screwed. Can someone help me.


Which job was the claim based on? The 2006 job which you didn’t quit and had to fight for the benefits? Little confusing. The EUC tiers had to be claimed on or after a certain date in 2006. I don’t know really what would be your best move. I would assume you told them about both jobs right?

They would have determined all of that when you started drawing payments.

But be careful, if they never knew you worked in 2009 and you start calling bringing it up, you may end up OWING THEM THOUSANDS BACK.


Samantha – Once you’ve finished tier 4, that’s it. This is what we’ve been fighting for ….getting more weeks added or a tier 5 added. Right now there is nothing more . Since you’ve collected EB, you can’t get it again. I agree with Joe….be very careful if you were working & collecting unemployment at the same time….

Joe – MOOOOOOOOooooo!

OK, I have done my part contact my State Reps, Prez, VP anyone else?
We gotta do something ….. Out of work since Jan 2008

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