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To continue receiving unemployment benefits, Florida residents must prove they're actively seeking a job

Jun 1, 2021

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Florida residents who are slated to lose a hefty chunk of federal income support this month will also have to prove they are actively looking for a job in order to keep collecting unemployment benefits. 

In Florida, claimants living in counties with more than 75,000 people must complete five "work searches" per week, according to the state Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). In counties with populations under 75,000, claimants are required to complete a minimum of three "work searches" per week. 

A valid work search includes, but is not limited to, actively submitting an application, submitting a resume to an employer, attending a job fair, interviewing for a new job, attending a career service session, creating a profile on a professional networking site and attending a training or resume writing class, according to the DEO. 


The DEO listed counties with their populations in order to help claimants determine the number of searches needed.  

Meanwhile, within a few short weeks, claimants will also be losing an extra $300 federal payment per week, which the DEO says is another "key step" in helping Florida residents return to the workforce.

Florida will stop participating in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program on June 26 as part of the DEO’s "Return to Work" initiative, effectively cutting off the weekly benefits to eligible Reemployment Assistance claimants.  


"Now we’re transitioning from the kind of relief in the midst of a crisis to now having the more traditional reemployment outlook," Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters during a press conference on May 24. 

DeSantis told reporters that Florida has "almost half a million job openings" across the entire state, but they need "more people to want to work." 

According to the DEO, the state has gained nearly 800,000 private-sector jobs since the start of the pandemic over a year ago. 

Now, Florida businesses and employers are hiring across the entire state and need "unemployed Floridians to return to the workforce," according to the DEO. 


To date, there are over 450,000 online job postings statewide. 

"Florida’s employers are also seeing employment growth, as more Floridians, including some who completely left the workforce, are now eagerly reentering the workforce," DEO secretary Dane Eagle said in a statement. "Transitioning away from this benefit will help meet the demands of small and large businesses who are ready to hire and expand their workforce."

Without the federal supplement, out-of-work Floridians can only receive a maximum of $275 per week in aid, among the lowest benefits in the country. 

Florida will continue to participate in two separate programs that provide jobless benefits to gig workers and others typically not eligible for benefits and extend state unemployment benefits once they have been exhausted.

FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report. 

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