Florida Waives Certain Unemployment Requirements After Hurricane

Author: David B. Weisenfeld

October 6, 2022

In the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has temporarily waived several requirements for receiving unemployment aid in counties declared disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The move aims to make it easier for Florida employees to quickly apply for and receive reemployment assistance.

Additionally, Disaster Unemployment Assistance is now available to Florida businesses and residents whose employment, or self-employment, was lost or interrupted as a result of Hurricane Ian and who are not eligible for regular state or federal reemployment assistance benefits. This assistance is available for individuals who meet one of the following requirements:

  • Are unemployed as a direct result of the major disaster;
  • Were scheduled to start employment but were unable to begin as a direct result of the major disaster;
  • Are unable to reach their job or self-employment location because they must travel through an affected area and are prevented from doing so;
  • Have become the primary breadwinner because the head of the household died as a direct result of the major disaster; or
  • Are unable to work because of an injury that was a direct result of the major disaster.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), disaster unemployment assistance is available for the weeks of unemployment beginning September 25, 2022, until April 1, 2023, so long as the individual's unemployment continues to be a direct result of Hurricane Ian. The deadline to submit a claim for this assistance is December 30, 2022.

"Right now, Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian are trying to meet their critical needs and what they don't need are roadblocks interfering with their recovery," said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle in a statement.

He added that state officials are asking employers to fill out a disaster assessment survey, which would help Florida learn more about what needs still have yet to be met so the state can address them.