FEMA Program Offers Extra Payments to the Jobless

September 3, 2020

In the absence of another coronavirus federal stimulus relief bill, states are rushing to take part in a weekly unemployment benefits program to try to get more funds to the jobless. Authorized by President Trump through an executive order in August, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is charged with allocating the funds through the Lost Wage Assistance program.

Since the $600 weekly supplement benefit from the initial stimulus package expired at the end of July, the program extends federal benefits to people who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA will provide grants to participating states and the District of Columbia. Eligible unemployed can receive up to an extra $300 a month in the program in participating states.

So far, 44 states have been approved to allocate benefits, according to FEMA’s website. States have until Sept. 10 to apply for the funds.

President Trump has authorized up to $44 billion from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to be used for the program. The program’s length is also determined by how long FEMA funds remain open for benefits.

“Lost wages assistance will increase the amount of money states can provide to unemployed Americans without significantly increasing the cost for states to offer unemployment insurance,” FEMA notes at its site. “The assistance is intended to help people support themselves and their families as they look for work.”

Learn more about the program and the state’s participating.