Jobless benefits may be cut off for more than
100,000 Floridians at the end of the month. Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity is sending notices to those receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation from the federal government. The program provides up to an additional 20 weeks of benefits that will expire December 29 if Congress doesn't extend them. The program began in July of 2008. It provides temporary, extended help to workers who have used up all of their state benefits. At the same time, the state of Florida is lowering the number of weeks jobless workers can receive regular benefits. Starting in January, applicants can only receive up to 19 weeks of compensation from the state, four weeks less than currently allowed. The amount of compensation available is determined by the state's unemployment rate, which has dropped below 9 percent.