Florida Senate - 2021                                     SB 910
       By Senator Stewart
       13-00269A-21                                           2021910__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to unemployment compensation; amending
    3         s. 443.111, F.S.; increasing the weekly benefit
    4         amounts an individual may receive; redefining the term
    5         “Florida average unemployment rate”; increasing the
    6         cap on the total benefit amount an individual is
    7         entitled to receive during a benefit year; revising
    8         the duration of benefits; reenacting ss. 443.041(2)(b)
    9         and 443.1116(6), (7), and (8)(a), F.S., relating to
   10         fees and short-term compensation, to incorporate the
   11         amendments made to s. 443.111, F.S., in references
   12         thereto; providing an effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Subsection (3) and paragraphs (a), (b), and (c)
   17  of subsection (5) of section 443.111, Florida Statutes, are
   18  amended to read:
   19         443.111 Payment of benefits.—
   20         (3) WEEKLY BENEFIT AMOUNT.—An individual’s “weekly benefit
   21  amount” is an amount equal to one twenty-sixth of the total
   22  wages for insured work paid during that quarter of the base
   23  period in which the total wages paid were the highest, but not
   24  less than $125 $32 or more than $400 $275. The weekly benefit
   25  amount, if not a multiple of $1, is rounded downward to the
   26  nearest full dollar amount. The maximum weekly benefit amount in
   27  effect at the time the claimant establishes an individual weekly
   28  benefit amount is the maximum benefit amount applicable
   29  throughout the claimant’s benefit year.
   30         (5) DURATION OF BENEFITS.—
   31         (a) As used in this section, the term “Florida average
   32  unemployment rate” means the average of the 3 months for the
   33  most recent third calendar year quarter of the seasonally
   34  adjusted statewide unemployment rates as published by the
   35  Department of Economic Opportunity.
   36         (b) Each otherwise eligible individual is entitled during
   37  any benefit year to a total amount of benefits equal to 25
   38  percent of the total wages in his or her base period, not to
   39  exceed $14,800 $6,325 or the product arrived at by multiplying
   40  the weekly benefit amount with the number of weeks determined in
   41  paragraph (c), whichever is less. However, the total amount of
   42  benefits, if not a multiple of $1, is rounded downward to the
   43  nearest full dollar amount. These benefits are payable at a
   44  weekly rate no greater than the weekly benefit amount.
   45         (c) For claims submitted during a calendar year, the
   46  duration of benefits is limited to:
   47         1. Twenty-six Twelve weeks if this state’s average
   48  unemployment rate is at or below 5 percent.
   49         2. An additional week in addition to the 26 12 weeks for
   50  each 0.5 percent increment in this state’s average unemployment
   51  rate above 5 percent.
   52         3. Up to a maximum of 37 23 weeks if this state’s average
   53  unemployment rate equals or exceeds 10.5 percent.
   54         Section 2. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
   55  made by this act to section 443.111, Florida Statutes, in a
   56  reference thereto, paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
   57  443.041, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:
   58         443.041 Waiver of rights; fees; privileged communications.—
   59         (2) FEES.—
   60         (b) An attorney at law representing a claimant for benefits
   61  in any district court of appeal of this state or in the Supreme
   62  Court of Florida is entitled to counsel fees payable by the
   63  department as set by the court if the petition for review or
   64  appeal is initiated by the claimant and results in a decision
   65  awarding more benefits than provided in the decision from which
   66  appeal was taken. The amount of the fee may not exceed 50
   67  percent of the total amount of regular benefits permitted under
   68  s. 443.111(5)(b) during the benefit year.
   69         Section 3. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
   70  made by this act to section 443.111, Florida Statutes, in a
   71  reference thereto, subsections (6) and (7) and paragraph (a) of
   72  subsection (8) of section 443.1116, Florida Statutes, are
   73  reenacted to read:
   74         443.1116 Short-time compensation.—
   76  weekly short-time compensation benefit amount payable to an
   77  individual is equal to the product of her or his weekly benefit
   78  amount as provided in s. 443.111(3) and the ratio of the number
   79  of normal weekly hours of work for which the employer would not
   80  compensate the individual to the individual’s normal weekly
   81  hours of work. The benefit amount, if not a multiple of $1, is
   82  rounded downward to the next lower multiple of $1.
   84  individual may not be paid benefits under this section in any
   85  benefit year for more than the maximum entitlement provided in
   86  s. 443.111(5), and an individual may not be paid short-time
   87  compensation benefits for more than 26 weeks in any benefit
   88  year.
   91         (a) The short-time compensation benefits paid to an
   92  individual shall be deducted from the total benefit amount
   93  established for that individual in s. 443.111(5).
   94         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.