Florida says it’s now ready to pay federal pandemic benefits to those who have exhausted unemployment

Head of unemployment previously said PEUC would be ready in May

The investigation into why Florida paid more than 77-million-dollars for a faulty unemployment technology system is undeway

About two months after federal pandemic aid under the CARES Act was signed into law, Florida is ready to administer aid to those who were unemployed prior to coronavirus-related layoffs.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, is the federal program that provides up to 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who have exhausted regular unemployment benefits under state or federal law or have no rights to regular unemployment benefits under state or federal law.

"Floridians may be eligible for up to $275 + $600 in weekly benefits. The additional $600 applies to weeks of unemployment beginning March 29,” according to Floridajobs.org. “The first week a claimant can be compensated on this benefit is the week beginning March 29, 2020, and the last payable week is the week ending Dec. 26, 2020.”

In order to qualify for PEUC, Floridians must first complete an application for state Reemployment Assistance benefits, which can be found here. That Reemployment Assistance claim will then be determined for eligibility before claimants are invited to apply for PEUC.

[Click here for a guide to applying for PEUC]

Secretary John Satter, who was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, to over see the state’s pandemic unemployment surge said on April 30 in a Q&A the Florida DEO was working on being able to administer those benefits.

Before this week, people who have exhausted regular unemployment benefits and were told to apply for federal benefits couldn’t find the application on Floridajobs.org because the state wasn’t ready to process those benefits.

“We are building the system to be able to accept those applications because these are federal dollars,” Satter said on April 30, adding it could be another five to seven days before those applications can be processed through the DEO CONNECT system.

On Tuesday, the DEO said in a news release the state is now able to process PEUC applications.

Floridians who have already exhausted their benefits or have a claim that expired after July 1, will also be able to apply to those benefits, according to the DEO.

Since March, more than 2 million unemployment claims have been filed in Florida, according to the DEO Dashboard. The state has paid more than $4 billion to more than 1.1 million claimants, as of June 2.