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Under the Aug. 8 executive measure, the federal government will give unemployed workers an extra $300 in weekly payments. Trump allocated $44 billion to cover the sweetened aid, using money from the Disaster Relief Fund, which is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It partially restored the $600-a-week benefit that expired at the end of July.
States, which had to apply for the aid by Sept. 10, will issue up to six weeks of payments to eligible workers, a spokeswoman for FEMA said last week. That means the maximum benefit workers could receive is $1,800 over the course of those six weeks.
“States should plan to make payments to eligible claimants for no more than six weeks from the week ending Aug. 1, 2020,” the spokeswoman said.
Forty-nine states, plus Washington, D.C, Guam and the Virgin Islands, have signed up to pay out the federal portion of the aid. South Dakota chose to not apply for the money. So far, 27 states are disbursing the money, according to a tracker published by UnemploymentPUA.com.
The states disbursing the money are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Texas, Arizona, Montana, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Missouri are among the states that have announced the end of the $300-a-week supplement.
Payments are still pending in Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, according to the tracker.
Montana, West Virginia, Kentucky and Kansas are the only states that have committed to kicking in an additional $100 to laid-off workers on top of the $300 supplement, meaning workers in those states will receive up to $2,400 over the six weeks.
The average state unemployment benefit is about $330 per week. With the federal supplement, Americans can expect to receive about $630 in weekly unemployment benefits.
Only people who are receiving at least $100 in unemployment assistance through regular state programs or other aid initiatives, like a shared-work program, are eligible for the boosted benefits, according to a White House memo.
Benefits are calculated based in part on a worker's former income, which could mean that some of the country's lowest earners are excluded. At least 1 million people will not qualify for the benefit, according to one estimate.
Government data released at the beginning of September shows the labor market is far from pre-coronavirus levels: Employers added 1.4 million jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, but there are still 11.5 million more out-of-work Americans than there were in February.