Florida Senate - 2021                                     SB 466
       By Senator Bracy
       11-00518-21                                            2021466__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to reemployment assistance; amending
    3         s. 443.111, F.S.; increasing the maximum weekly and
    4         yearly benefit amounts for reemployment assistance;
    5         increasing the duration of such benefits; reenacting
    6         ss. 443.041 and 443.1116, F.S., relating to attorney
    7         fees and short-time compensation, respectively, to
    8         incorporate the amendments made to s. 443.111, F.S.,
    9         in a reference thereto; providing an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Subsection (3) and paragraphs (b) and (c) of
   14  subsection (5) of section 443.111, Florida Statutes, are amended
   15  to read:
   16         443.111 Payment of benefits.—
   17         (3) WEEKLY BENEFIT AMOUNT.—An individual’s “weekly benefit
   18  amount” is an amount equal to one twenty-sixth of the total
   19  wages for insured work paid during that quarter of the base
   20  period in which the total wages paid were the highest, but not
   21  less than $32 or more than $400 $275. The weekly benefit amount,
   22  if not a multiple of $1, is rounded downward to the nearest full
   23  dollar amount. The maximum weekly benefit amount in effect at
   24  the time the claimant establishes an individual weekly benefit
   25  amount is the maximum benefit amount applicable throughout the
   26  claimant’s benefit year.
   27         (5) DURATION OF BENEFITS.—
   28         (b) Each otherwise eligible individual is entitled during
   29  any benefit year to a total amount of benefits equal to 25
   30  percent of the total wages in his or her base period, not to
   31  exceed $10,400 $6,325 or the product arrived at by multiplying
   32  the weekly benefit amount with the number of weeks determined in
   33  paragraph (c), whichever is less. However, the total amount of
   34  benefits, if not a multiple of $1, is rounded downward to the
   35  nearest full dollar amount. These benefits are payable at a
   36  weekly rate no greater than the weekly benefit amount.
   37         (c) For claims submitted during a calendar year, the
   38  duration of benefits is limited to 26 weeks:
   39         1. Twelve weeks if this state’s average unemployment rate
   40  is at or below 5 percent.
   41         2. An additional week in addition to the 12 weeks for each
   42  0.5 percent increment in this state’s average unemployment rate
   43  above 5 percent.
   44         3. Up to a maximum of 23 weeks if this state’s average
   45  unemployment rate equals or exceeds 10.5 percent.
   46         Section 2. For the purpose of incorporating the amendments
   47  made by this act to section 443.111, Florida Statutes, in a
   48  reference thereto, paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
   49  443.041, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:
   50         443.041 Waiver of rights; fees; privileged communications.—
   51         (2) FEES.—
   52         (b) An attorney at law representing a claimant for benefits
   53  in any district court of appeal of this state or in the Supreme
   54  Court of Florida is entitled to counsel fees payable by the
   55  department as set by the court if the petition for review or
   56  appeal is initiated by the claimant and results in a decision
   57  awarding more benefits than provided in the decision from which
   58  appeal was taken. The amount of the fee may not exceed 50
   59  percent of the total amount of regular benefits permitted under
   60  s. 443.111(5)(b) during the benefit year.
   61         Section 3. For the purpose of incorporating the amendments
   62  made by this act to section 443.111, Florida Statutes, in a
   63  reference thereto, subsection (7) and paragraph (a) of
   64  subsection (8) of section 443.1116, Florida Statutes, are
   65  reenacted to read:
   66         443.1116 Short-time compensation.—
   68  individual may not be paid benefits under this section in any
   69  benefit year for more than the maximum entitlement provided in
   70  s. 443.111(5), and an individual may not be paid short-time
   71  compensation benefits for more than 26 weeks in any benefit
   72  year.
   75         (a) The short-time compensation benefits paid to an
   76  individual shall be deducted from the total benefit amount
   77  established for that individual in s. 443.111(5).
   78         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.