If You're Unemployed in One of These 32 States, Expect an Extra $300 Soon
These states have either been given FEMA funds or are giving out their own stimulus checks.
If you're part of the huge portion of the U.S. population that's unemployed right now—57.3 million workers have filed for unemployment over the past six months—you're probably looking for a little extra cash wherever you can. And if you're hoping for support from the government, well, whether or not you can expect extra unemployment benefits all comes down to your location.
Thirty-one states have already been approved for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program for COVID-19, and one state gave out its own stimulus check—and more states will likely deliver additional benefits as time goes on. If you're curious to know if you can expect an extra $300, $400, or even $500 from the government soon, read on to see the states that are giving extra unemployment benefits as of Aug. 27. And for more on future funds, check out If You Make More Than This, You May Not Get a Second Stimulus Check.
On Aug. 21, Alabama was approved for approved for a FEMA grant through the Lost Wages Assistance program. The following day, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey thanked FEMA and President Trump for including the state in the program, which will provide unemployed residents an extra $300 per week. "This funding will provide much-needed assistance to Alabamians struggling with the financial effects of the pandemic," she tweeted. The benefits will be paid retroactively to the week ending on August 1.
FEMA announced on Aug. 23 that Alaska had been approved for the Lost Wages Assistance program, making an additional $300 per week available to eligible unemployed Alaskans.
"Alaskans have had to push through some very difficult times as part of COVID-19," said Gov. Mike Dunleavy in a statement. "This money will help provide financial relief for those who need it the most." The payments are expected to become effective in eight weeks and will be paid retroactively to the date when the prior unemployment payments of $600 per week ended.
On Aug. 8, President Donald Trump made up to $44 billion from FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund available to provide a little boost to those who've lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Arizona was one of the first states to agree to be a part of the program, getting approved by FEMA on Aug. 15. As of Aug. 19, the state, which has suffered a huge amount of loss at the hands of the pandemic, started giving out an extra $300 on top of regular unemployment benefits, MarketWatch reports. And for more on how Arizona started to control COVID, check out Dr. Fauci Says This Is Why Coronavirus Cases Are Dropping in Arizona.
Arkansas will be providing an extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits to residents, FEMA announced on Aug. 25; however, there is currently limited information on the timeline of the rollout of these benefits. Gov. Asa Hutchinson wasn't always so keen on having his state participate in the program to begin with. "I want more information first. I want additional guidelines from the federal government as to how this will work," Hutchinson said in early August.
Unemployed Californians can expect an additional $300 in weekly unemployment benefits, according to a FEMA statement on Aug. 22. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has not yet announced a definitive timeline regarding when those benefits will be paid out, however.
Colorado was in the second batch of states that FEMA announced would be participating in the Lost Wages Assistance program on Aug. 16. The state has yet to reveal when the extra money will be distributed to those receiving unemployment benefits, but "estimates that claimants will begin receiving LWA benefits in mid to late September," according to a statement.
Connecticut residents without jobs due to the pandemic will be taking home an additional $300 in weekly unemployment benefits after the state was granted approval for FEMA's LWA program on Aug. 24.
"It will add $300 to a claimant's existing weekly benefit for as long as federal funds are available and help fill the hole left when the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program expired on July 26," Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont explained in a statement. The payments will be made retroactive to the July 26 expiration date of the previous unemployment benefit.
Georgia was approved for an extra $300 in weekly COVID unemployment benefits on Aug. 23, FEMA announced.
Though no timeline for the dissemination of those benefits has been announced yet, the Georgia Department of Labor "will deliver a system to process these weekly supplements as quickly as possible," said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler on Aug. 14.
On Aug. 19, FEMA announced that Idaho was also approved for the LWA program, allowing the state to provide its residents who are unemployed due to COVID-19 an additional $300 per week on top of their regular unemployment benefits. Gov. Brad Little intends to give unemployed Idahoans five weeks of assistance and will evaluate the situation again after that point, according to a statement from his office. And for insight into how the outbreak is shaping up in Iowa and other states, check out These States Could Be the Next to See a COVID Surge.
Indiana was approved for FEMA's Lost Wages grant on Aug. 21, with eligible residents unemployed due to COVID set to receive an additional $300 per week in benefits. The exact date the benefits will become available has not yet been announced; however, on the same day as FEMA's announcement, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order allowing increased government-supplemented childcare availability for residents of the state, as well.
Like Arizona, Iowa was another early adopter of FEMA's Lost Wages Assistance program for COVID-19. In a statement, the office of Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that "Iowans whose unemployment is the result of the pandemic, and who are eligible for at least $100 in benefits per week, will qualify for an additional $300 weekly benefits retroactive to the week ending Aug. 1."
Kentucky was approved to provide residents extra unemployment benefits via the LWA program as of Aug. 21. It's one of only two states giving those unemployed due to COVID-19 $400 per week ($100 in state funds and $300 in federal funds). "Benefits recipients should not expect the payments until sometime in early September," Gov. Andy Beshaer said in a statement. The Courier-Journal reports that the benefits are set to cover a three-week period, but notes that the extra funds could be extended. And for more on Kentucky's COVID struggles, check out 10 States on the Brink of Becoming COVID Hotspots, According to Experts.
Along with Arizona and Iowa, Louisiana, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, was one of the first states to get approved for FEMA's LWA program on Aug. 15, and will soon give its unemployed residents an extra $300 per week, but a clear timeframe hasn't been set. "As soon as these funds are available to us, we will move quickly to pay them out," Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement on Aug. 13.
One of the later states to be approved for the LWA program, Maine joined the ranks of those receiving the $300 weekly FEMA unemployment benefit as of Aug. 25. "The initial funding would cover the weeks ending August 1, 2020 through Aug. 15, 2020," the Maine Department of Labor announced in an Aug. 26 statement.
Maryland was approved by FEMA for the LWA program on Aug. 19. The state plans to begin distributing the additional $300 in unemployment benefits by late September, the office of Gov. Larry Hogan revealed on Aug. 20. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
On Aug. 21, FEMA announced that Massachusetts residents unemployed due to the pandemic would be eligible for an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits.
The timeline of the rollout of the benefits has not yet been announced, but Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker had previously announced his hesitation to participate in the program. "I don't think this is the right way to do this," Baker said in a press conference on Aug. 18. "I worry a lot that we're taking money from federal reimbursements for emergency services provided associated with the first four months of COVID under FEMA to fund this program."
On Aug. 21, Michigan joined Kentucky to become one of the two newest states to be approved for FEMA's LWA program, granting the state the ability to give those unemployed due to COVID-19 an extra $300 per week. "This is good news for the thousands of Michiganders who are still without work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's still a short term band aid that falls short of what's needed," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. There's no word yet on when that added benefit will hit Michiganders' bank accounts. And for some information on how this state is beating back the virus, check out Michigan Just Issued a Surprising New Order to Curb Spiking COVID Cases.
Mississippi residents became eligible for an extra $300 per week in FEMA unemployment benefits as of Aug. 22. While the date these benefits will become effective has yet to be announced, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves underscored the importance for residents of the state to get back to work as soon as possible. "We don't know when this will run out, but there is a set amount of money…and it's highly likely the money will run out soon," Reeves said during a press conference on Aug. 20.
Another early state to get approved for FEMA's new program on Aug. 16, Missouri will also soon give those unemployed due to COVID an extra $300 per week, though an exact date is TBD. "We are awaiting [on] additional guidance from FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor while continuing to work as expeditiously as possible," Rose Delores, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, told MarketWatch recently. She said the state's Department of Labor website will be updated with more information when it's available, "including any additional eligibility requirements and timelines for payment."
On Aug. 18, Montana became the first state to get approval from FEMA to grant its unemployed residents the full $400 (again $100 in state funds and $300 in federal funds) on top of their regular unemployment benefits. It's unclear when unemployed individuals will start to receive their extra benefits, but the program will end no later than Dec. 27, according to the Montana Department of Labor & Industry's (DLI) website.
"DLI will work as quickly as possible once our application is approved to distribute the extra payments to Montanans," acting DLI Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said in a statement. "The federal government is requiring states to program a new system, and DLI is already implementing the necessary changes to get this money out the door."
On Aug. 24, New Hampshire joined the ranks of those states providing an extra $300 per week in COVID unemployment benefits to eligible residents through FEMA's LWA program. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced that the state would likely "be able to start issuing payments in early September."
Joining Arizona, Iowa, and Louisiana, New Mexico was also one of the first states to get approved for FEMA's LWA program on Aug. 15. The state's Workforce Solutions Secretary, Bill McCamley, said in a statement on Aug. 13 that it was "unclear at this time when funding will become available, or how much funding is available," before adding that "the Department will work hard to distribute funds to New Mexicans as quickly as possible."
However, McCamley also hinted to The New York Times recently that it may be awhile. "Even in our system, which is very modern in the unemployment world, it's still going to take us time to do it right," he said.
New Yorkers unemployed due to COVID became eligible for an extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits on Aug. 23. "We are diligently working to update our systems so we can administer the Lost Wages Assistance program and deliver supplemental benefits to New Yorkers as quickly as possible," said Deanna Cohen, a spokesperson for the New York Department of Labor.
North Carolina was approved to provide an extra $300 per week in LWA unemployment benefits to its residents on Aug. 21.
Residents approved for the program will receive three weeks of benefits; "These are the weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15," explained the NC Department of Commerce Employment Security (DES), noting that "DES has been working to reprogram its benefits system to make payments to eligible North Carolinians as quickly as possible."
On Aug. 18, FEMA announced that Oklahoma too was approved for the LWA program, joining the many others on this list that will be able to give unemployed residents an extra $300 a week. The state plans to get those benefits out as soon as mid-September.
"While many other states are estimating implementation to take up to 10 weeks, we are anticipating implementation within our system in four to five weeks," Shelley Zumwalt, interim executive director of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, said in a statement. The extra benefits will be retroactive to Aug. 1 and will end no later than Dec. 27.
Oregon is undecided about whether to accept the FEMA program, but the state has found a way to give its residents receiving unemployment an added boost. Beginning in mid-August, Oregon started handing out its own $500 stimulus checks to those with incomes under $48,000 who applied. However, as of Aug. 21, the state's funds have run out. Its website reads: "The Emergency Relief Check Program has ended because ALL funds are obligated and we are no longer accepting NEW applications through walk-in or NEW appointments."
On Aug. 24, Pennsylvania residents unemployed due to COVID-19 became eligible for an extra $300 per week through the LWA program.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said that the payments would be made retroactive to Aug. 1, but noted that, "The payment could end in a matter of weeks if FEMA funding is exhausted or the federal government enacts a new law or extends [the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Program] to replace the Lost Wages Assistance payment."
Rhode Island's application for the LWA program was approved by FEMA on Aug. 22; eligible residents will have an additional $300 added to their weekly unemployment benefits.
The RI Department of Labor & Training announced on Aug. 24. that the benefit would be made retroactive to Aug. 1 and would probably be distributed as a single $900 lump sum payment that will likely become available "within a few weeks."
Along with Rhode Island, Tennessee was approved for FEMA's LWA program on Aug. 22, granting an additional $300 per week to the eligible unemployed. Though an exact date for the benefit's rollout has not yet been announced, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee expressed his gratitude for the approval on Aug. 24, writing, "We're thankful for this added benefit for Tennesseans in a time of economic crisis."
On Aug. 21, FEMA announced that Texas had been approved for a Lost Wages Assistance program grant providing an extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits.
While no date has yet been announced regarding when these changes will take effect, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said, "I thank the Trump administration for swiftly granting these funds…These funds will help Texans in need support their families as we work to revitalize the economy and get Texans back to work," Abbott said in a statement.
Utah was also among the early adopters of FEMA's LWA program, getting approved on Aug. 16. Those receiving unemployment can expect an additional $300 for three weeks, but it may take up to four weeks for them to receive it retroactively, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
"We want to emphasize that this benefit is currently time-limited to only a three-week period and not everyone who has filed an unemployment claim will be eligible," Kevin Burt, director of the Unemployment Insurance Division for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, said in a statement. "We will continue to work with FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor to pursue any additional funds for Utahns that may remain after the initial three-week period of benefits are distributed."
Eligible Vermonters can receive an extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits through the LWA program, FEMA announced on Aug. 22. Though there is no official effective date for the program, Gov. Phil Scott's office announced in a statement that the initial payments would be made "in the coming weeks."
Scott also announced that he had requested an additional $20 million in funds from the Vermont Legislature, enabling the state to provide an extra $100 per week for three weeks to eligible Vermont residents. And for insight into where coronavirus is on the rise, These Are the 4 States With the Biggest COVID Spikes.