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The Trump administration has created the Lost Wages Assistance program, which will provide $1,800 more in jobless benefits to those livelihoods that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lost Wages Assistance will pay $300 a week of federal subsidy over the unemployment benefits workers are currently enjoying. It is right after the $600 weekly support is released in the final weeks of July.
But not all employees are eligible for this aid. Those who qualify have been unemployed because of the pandemic from August 1 to September 5. Payments were already released automatically to those who applied Thursday, while reports say claimants can get their payments as soon as Monday.
In some states, employees can get more. In Kentucky, West Virginia, and Montana, workers can get an extra $100 to get $400 per week for a total of $2,400 in six weeks. Around 30 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits are still waiting for federal aid for more than a month.
Around $44 billion was diverted to the Lost Wages Assistance program, and officials estimate that this money will last five weeks. However, factors like the number of workers and states that are participating in the program have made it uncertain as to how long will this disaster relief last.
Forty-eight states have signed up, including Washington D.C. and Guam. FEMA has provided $30 billion to these participating states and territories. These states received approval for three weeks of federal aid and must apply to receive assistance for three weeks more.
Less than half of the participating states have started processing and releasing payments. Some of these states said that they might begin late September or October.
FEMA is no longer accepting applications, but states and territories can submit their requests for succeeding weeks if they have submitted their applications from the original deadline. And as it has been six weeks since August 1, qualified workers may get a one-time payment. It may depend on how every state handles the distribution of the benefit.
Applicants must provide that they are partially unemployed or unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic to receive financial assistance. Workers must also currently get more than $100 weekly benefits.
The previous $600 weekly payments helped support consumer spending in the first few months of the pandemic. This financial aid allowed ¾ of the workers that were eligible for benefits to replace their lost wages.