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Florida Eases Requirements for UI Benefits after Hurricane Ian

Over the weekend, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced that they have temporarily waived the requirements for work search reporting, requiring a waiting week before benefits can be paid, and the requirement to register with Employ Florida to get critical unemployment benefits to the Floridians who have been impacted by Hurricane Ian.

If you have had to close locations or suspend operations in the impacted counties in Florida. Thomas & Company is making every efforts to expedite claims for the impacted employees to assist in getting benefits in this time of need.  If you have had a large number of impacted employees, please reach out to your Client Relationship Manager to see if there are other ways in which we can assist.

Additionally, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida businesses and residents in the following counties: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia counties. Individuals must apply for traditional unemployment first and should indicate that they have been impacted by the disaster. DUA is available for weeks of unemployment starting 9/25/2022 and can continue through April 1, 2023, as long as their employment is still impacted by the disaster. The deadline to file a claim for DUA benefits is December 30, 2022. DUA is available to individuals who are ineligible for state or federal unemployment benefits if they meet one of the following criteria:
• Is unemployed as a direct result of the major disaster.
• Was scheduled to start employment but was unable to as a direct result of the major disaster.
• Is unable to reach their job or self-employment location because the individual has to travel through an affected area and is prevented from doing so as a direct result of the major disaster.
• Has become the primary breadwinner because the head of the household died as a direct result of the major disaster, or
• Is unable to work because of an injury that was a direct result of the major disaster.

Floridians can file an unemployment claims at and select “File a New Claim”. Starting October 3, 2022, CONNECT will be available Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. For the full press release, please visit


Michele Heckmann

Author Michele Heckmann

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