NewsPublic Affairs / September 10, 2020

Extra $300 Unemployment Benefit Will Be Capped At Six Weeks

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
A worker in downtown Indianapolis takes a smoke break. - Justin Hicks/IPB News

A worker in downtown Indianapolis takes a smoke break.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

FEMA said Thursday that states, including Indiana, should plan for a maximum of six weeks of boosted unemployment benefits of $300 per week. This comes a day after the state said it expects actual payments to begin on Sept. 21.

The extra $300 will go to anyone who lost their job due to COVID-19 and was eligible for $100 or more of unemployment benefits between June 26 and Sept. 5. The program, called Lost Wages Assistance, was created through an executive order from President Donald Trump. It set up the extra benefits to end once FEMA ran out of money or if Congress passed a law that would otherwise alter unemployment benefits. 

A FEMA spokesperson said in a statement the decision to cap the program at six weeks was made based on state and U.S. Department of Labor spending projections. It said it’s already distributed $30 billion of the $44 billion set aside for the program.

"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. 10," the statement said. "No new/initial applications will be accepted after 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sept. 10, however states/territories may continue to submit requests for additional weeks, up to week six, after Sept. 10."

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Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

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