July 27, 2021

Coronavirus stimulus: States are running out of unemployment benefits ordered by President Trump

While most states have yet to distribute the extra $300 a week under the president’s executive memorandum, a handful are already running out of funds to pay the additional benefits.

“It seems like it’s ending, it seems like we’re hitting the wall on it,” Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, told Yahoo Money. “They’re cutting off states at six weeks in order to make sure that every state gets some of this money.”

Officials in Montana, Texas, and Arizona have said that their states have exhausted six weeks worth of extra unemployment benefits. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed to Yahoo Money on Thursday that funding is only available for six weeks, meaning jobless Americans will have to rely on their regular state unemployment benefit after that unless Congress passes new legislation.

“FEMA will make grant awards to enable requesting states, territories and the District of Columbia to make $300 LWA supplemental wage payments to eligible claimants for a full six weeks,” a FEMA spokesperson told Yahoo Money. “States should plan to make payments to eligible claimants for no more than six weeks from the week ending August, 1, 2020.”

A total of 15 states have begin paying out the extra unemployment benefits available under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance

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