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Job search requirements for Florida unemployment benefits to be reinstated soon, DeSantis says

WFTV Orlando logo WFTV Orlando 5/5/2021 Karen Parks, Sarah Wilson
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Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that he expects to reinstate a requirement that people in the unemployment system submit weekly work search updates.

Talk of the change comes after some local business owners say they’ve been struggling to hire workers, while claiming some people would rather collect unemployment than work.

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Some Central Florida restaurants, including Maxine’s on Shine in Orlando, have had to limit their hours due to staffing shortages.

“We’re closed on Wednesdays now because we cannot exhaust the employees that we already have working doubles every day, we have to give them a break because of not being able to get new people,” owner Maxine Earhart said.

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Florida’s maximum unemployment benefit is $275 a week, and with the added federal benefit some believe it leaves little incentive for folks to get out and work.

Prepandemic, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in order for someone to apply for unemployment benefits you are required to make a minimum of five verifiable job contacts each week and submit evidence of your job contacts. Then the department conducts a random audit on claimants work search records.

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But that changed during the pandemic as job opportunities dried up.

But on Wednesday the governor said he expects to reinstate the job search requirements at the end of the month.

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