Florida’s Jobless Benefits Haven’t Changed in 24 Years. DeSantis Still Won’t Raise Them.

By Giselle Balido

April 20, 2022

Despite a push from Democrats to raise the amount, Florida remains one of the four states with the lowest weekly unemployment benefits.

To say that that rent prices in Florida are through the roof is an understatement. In fact, Latinos have 41% of their income going toward rent, according to a recent report. And with gas prices climbing, many hardworking Floridians are having to stretch their dollars to make ends meet, especially if they have lost their job and are unemployed.

But although state regulators overseen by Gov. Ron DeSantis have approved rate hikes for insurance and utilities, the Republican incumbent hasn’t budged from his refusal to increase Florida’s unemployment benefits from a maximum of $275 per week.

It’s a ‘No’ From DeSantis

However, despite a strong push from Democrats to raise benefits to $575 per week, state Republicans rejected the proposal. In 2021, DeSantis even rejected a push by his own party to increase benefits by $100 per week, to $375.

The current cap of $275 was set 24 years ago, in 1998. Adjusted for today’s dollars, that would come to $485 maximum per week. The nationwide average is $475.

Back in 2021, even DeSantis appeared surprised when he found out the amount of the benefits Floridians receive. In fact, Florida is one of the four states with the lowest unemployment benefits (with Mississippi, Arizona, and Louisiana). Still, the governor said he was “fine” with this, even as he continues to blame inflation on President Joe Biden.

Inflation Is Global

But things are not as simple as DeSantis wants to make them seem. The US is not the only country dealing with inflation, as the world struggles to recover from a pandemic that disrupts the supply side of the economy, negatively impacting businesses, workers, and the global supply chain to operate.

“Inflation is a global challenge, appearing in virtually every developed nation as it emerges from the pandemic economic slump,” President has said. “America is fortunate that we have one of the fastest growing economies —thanks in part to the American Rescue Plan— which enables us to address price increases and maintain strong, sustainable economic growth. That is my goal, and I am focused on reaching it every day.”



  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.



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