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Posted on: April 2, 2020


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The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has waived several requirements making it easier to qualify for and access unemployment assistance, including the week waiting period and the job search requirements. The actions come as a result of the CARES Act, the new federal COVID-19 relief package.

Laid off workers who apply with the State’s unemployment compensation program will also receive and an additional $600 a week, for four months. This will be paid each week through July 31, 2020. This is in addition to the regular State unemployment compensation. 

The CARES Act also expands who is eligible for the new unemployment benefits to include the self-employed, gig-workers, independent contractors, and workers with irregular work history. This expanded eligibility is through December 31, 2020.

The state received 74,313 applications the week of March 21 and 222,054 applications the week of March 28. Note that the State’s online application website is experiencing crashes and delays due to the increased traffic. The County is looking into how many have applied locally. Monroe County is updating local, state and federal programs at

For more information on how to sign up for the Florida Unemployment Insurance Program:

General Information about the Unemployment Insurance Program

To file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim online:

To file a claim by telephone: 1-800-204-2418


Coronavirus update: Florida is providing updates on Unemployment Insurance changes related to COVID-19 here:’s/default-source/ra-dua-documentation/dua-faqs-3-17-20-updates.pdf