Here’s how to sign up for economic help during the coronavirus pandemic

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By Seán Kinane / WMNF News.

Here is a link to many coronavirus resources

In our continuing coverage of the coronavirus, we heard what kind of financial help is available to people struggling during the economic crash brought on by the pandemic.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reports that more than 1.5 million unique unemployment claims have been filed in Florida. Only 78 percent have been processed, and about 740 thousand people have been paid state benefits of up to $275 per week. So, many people are in desperate economic crisis. We heard about a range of programs designed to help.

Some information is from an online town hall meeting last Thursday evening hosted by The Common Ground Project. According to its Facebook page, it’s a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of all Floridians by advocating for issues that allow communities to focus on their commonalities over their differences, build broad consensus, and create lasting change.

Florida Policy Institute senior policy analyst, Cindy Huddleston, spoke about programs like SNAP, WIC, PEBT, TANF and Medicaid and how to apply.

Also participating in that online town hall was State Representative Jennifer Webb. She is a Democrat from Gulfport and shared information about resources available to Pinellas County residents. Many other counties have similar help available if you call the county.

We focused much of the rest of the show on the state’s broken unemployment system.

Our guest, Kelly Johnson, created the Action Group for COVID-19 Unemployment Facebook group. She’s a resident of Dunedin. Johnson announced on WMNF’s MidPoint Monday that she is running in November as an independent for State House District 65 against incumbent Chris Sprowls.

Listen to the full show here.

Here are links to some of the programs mentioned during The Common Ground Project webinar:

SNAP Application

WIC Application

Pinellas County Health Program

Hillsborough County Health Program

Emergency Financial Assistance Program (Pinellas)

Emergency Financial Assistance Program (Hillsborough)

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Below is information provided by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

State Of Florida And Pinellas County Issue “Full Phase 1” Guidance

News release #20-073

Following the issuance of Florida Governor’s Executive Order #20-123 effective May 18, 2020, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office have issued a “Full Phase 1” Guidance to assist in clarifying the order for Pinellas County.

Under the Governor’s orders the only businesses that cannot operate are bars, pubs, and nightclubs that derive more than 50% gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Please see the “Full Phase 1” Guidance here:


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