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.