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Florida to begin paying out $300 in weekly federal unemployment benefits

The state is approved for three weeks' worth of benefits at $300 a week, which total $900.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida is ready to begin distributing $300 in weekly federal unemployment benefits as part of the government's Lost Wages Assistance Program, the governor announced.

The program was created through an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in early August to make up to $44 billion in FEMA Disaster Relief funds available to pay unemployed Americans an additional $300 per week after the $600 a week federal payments expired in July.

Florida is approved for three weeks, with those weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15, according to a news release. That would equate to $300 in weekly benefits totaling $900 minus applicable taxes if someone is eligible for all three weeks.

People can expect to receive payment as early as this week.

To be eligible, claimants must be receiving at least $100 in an approved Reemployment Assistance program weekly benefit. They also must certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

More detailed information is on the state's website.

"We thank President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for providing this relief to Floridians during this time of need," Gov. Ron DeSantis said in the release. "These additional funds will provide critical support to Florida's unemployed workforce due to COVID-19."

The president’s executive order says the weekly payments will end when the balance in FEMA’s disaster relief fund falls to $25 billion. Congressional Democrats estimate the payouts will cost roughly $10 billion a week if every state participates in the program.

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