Residents of four states are already receiving an extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits, which was authorized by President Trump’s August 8 memorandum. Here’s the latest update:
What states are already paying out?
Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, and Louisiana. Arizona sent out checks last week, while Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee began paying this week. Missouri is right behind them, planning to send out payments ASAP.
Phew. So if I live in one of those states, I’m saved?
No. Though the president’s memorandum authorizes weekly payments through the end of the year, he repurposed $44 billion from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to do it. FEMA is only guaranteeing states’ funding for the first three weeks of payments. After that, FEMA will disperse funds to states on a week-by-week basis. Key detail: The $44 billion could run out in as little as six weeks, depending how many people receive it.
Has my state applied?
Most have. These are the states that have not yet applied: Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota, New Jersey, Kansas, Florida, and Nebraska. And South Dakota is declining the program. All other states have either applied or been approved.
Is there any hope that I’ll receive another stimulus check?
Not before October. Talks resumed yesterday between Democrats and the White House on a coronavirus stimulus bill, following the implosion of negotiations earlier this month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she again offered to meet Republicans halfway with a $2.2 trillion package (Republicans want smaller; Dems want bigger), and the White House has not yet responded. Congress is on recess until after Labor Day.
Why is it only $300 a week in my state? Wasn’t it supposed to be $400?
Yes, good for you for noticing: $100 per week has disappeared! The president’s August 8 memorandum provides $400 per week, but “called on” states to fund $100 per week. Most states responded to this calling with a big fat no, due to not having billions budgeted for the payouts, on top of already-dire financial outlooks due to the pandemic.
What’s happening with my state?
Delaware, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Ohio are awaiting approval from FEMA.
Many remaining states have received approval, but are facing logistical challenges. For example, Colorado and Alaska say to expect a respective four-week and six- to eight-week delay before payments start.
Meanwhile, these states have received approval: Ohio, Virginia, Maine, Arkansas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Washington, New Hampshire, New York, Alaska, Georgia, Vermont, Mississippi, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Alabama, California, Indiana, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, Michigan, Maryland, Idaho, Oklahoma, Montana, Utah, Colorado.
For further details about your search, do a Google News search of “$300 unemployment [your state].” You can also check the FEMA website, which posts announcements about the approved states.