On April 25th, 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) extended the deadline for work search and work registration waivers that made unemployment benefits more easily attainable to Floridians in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the pandemic’s impact on the economy and the resulting increase in unemployment, these unemployment benefit waivers were originally issued in March 2020 as part of the state of emergency that was established in Florida by Governor DeSantis that was originally set to expire on April 24th, 2021.
Since people were not able to leave their house to apply for employment and many businesses shut down, the work search and work registration waivers allowed unemployed Floridians to collect unemployment benefits without having to complete and report employment applications to registered career centers or the DEO.
In addition to the work search waivers, DeSantis and the DEO also extended the ‘waiting week’ waiver that allows unemployed Floridians to bypass the required one-week period applicants must wait in order to apply for unemployment benefits after becoming unemployed.
Governor DeSantis expressed that although a few industries and different parts of Florida are opening up and contributing to Florida’s overall economic success through the first quarter of 2021, he also noted that there are many people who are still being affected by unemployment caused by COVID-19.
Even though DeSantis has been scrutinized by his stance on lockdowns, the extension of the waivers mean that a few aspects of the state of emergency in Florida are still relevant and that the state legislature is still attempting to alleviate unemployment issues Floridians are facing.
The date for the work search and work registration waivers was extended through May 29th, 2021, while the date for the waiting week waiver was extended through June 26th, 2021.
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