Americans in nearly every state should soon be receiving up to $1,800 in unemployment benefits. It comes as part of an executive order signed by President Trump in August.
Those who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic can expect to receive an additional $300 in weekly payments. This will come for up to six weeks as part of the $44 billion aid package. The money will come from the Disaster Relief Fund which is overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Individual states had until September 1 to apply for the aid. Also, only South Dakota chose to forego the additional help.
“States should plan to make payments to eligible claimants for no more than six weeks from the week ending Aug. 1, 2020,” said a FEMA spokeswoman.
The 49 states, plus Washington, D.C., Guam, and the Virgin Islands, have yet to start issuing the money. Many expect to start issuing the benefits in late September of early October. With six weeks having passed since the week ending August 1, people expect many states will issue the amount in a lump-sum payment.
“Regardless of where the states and territories are in their process to receive and distribute the FEMA funding, FEMA will fund six weeks in $300 supplemental unemployment benefits to every state and territory that has applied for this assistance by Sept. 1,” the FEMA spokeswoman said.
Four states, Montana, West Virginia, Kentucky and Kansas have agreed to pay an additional $100 to laid-off workers in addition to the federal aid amount. This means unemployed workers in those states could receive up to $2,400 over the six weeks.
What Americans can Expect
The average state unemployment benefit of $330 per week. With this, Americans can expect to receive about $630 in weekly unemployment benefits once the federal funds roll out.
The White House memo says eligibility for the additional funds will be limited to those already receiving at least $100 in unemployment assistance through regular state programs or other aid initiatives like a shared-work program.
During a recent interview on Fox Business, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said there is no harm in using additional unemployment benefits while questioning why Democrats continue to delay a targeted stimulus bill that covers items that both sides have already agreed on.
“Why not put in some more unemployment assistance? There’s nothing wrong with that, it would be a great help to people. President Trump has done it by executive order, President Trump is deferring payroll taxes by executive order, and he’s keeping up the eviction moratorium by executive order, but we could get some help by Congress codifying all that I think that would be quite useful also. There are things, targeted specifics that would be smart. Not political, not grab bags, not asks that have failed time and time again.”