October 27, 2020

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Federal money for the $300 enhanced unemployment benefit is running out. Here’s what to know

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As of Friday, 45 states have been approved to send out $300 per week in federal funds on top of regular unemployment benefits.

But just as states like Minnesota and Iowa start to pay out the enhanced $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit, the funding is already about to run out. This week Arizona announced the $300 checks could stop as soon as next week.

Here’s everything jobless Americans should know before thee program runs out of funding.

When will the funding run out?

Once it became clear Congress wouldn’t reach a deal to replace the $600 enhanced benefit—which expired the week ending July 25—President Donald Trump signed a memorandum last month to provide the $300 enhanced unemployment benefit

And that $44 billion allocated by Trump for the enhanced unemployment benefit, which comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is expected to run out soon.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget had only expected the $44 billion to run through August 29. The money has made it past that week, however, states like Arizona are preparing for it to dry up as soon as the week ending September 12.

FEMA has yet to announce when the funds will run out. And it’s unclear if Trump can bypass Congress again to add additional funding.

Approved states are guaranteed at least three weeks worth of funding for the $300 benefit, according to FEMA.

I haven’t gotten $300 check yet. Will it get back paid?

The White House has made it clear the enhanced $300 weekly benefit will be paid retroactive to the week ending Aug. 1. And approved states are in the process of retroactivity paying these benefits back to the week ending August 1. Some states have already done so.

Who is eligible for the $300 weekly benefit?

Out-of-work Americans need to be on unemployment rolls in states approved for the benefit.

And the $300 weekly benefit is only going to jobless Americans who are already receiving at least $100 in state unemployment insurance compensation. That is a smaller pool of recipients than the $600 enhanced checks, which weren’t limited in this manner.

Is it possible to get $400 extra instead of $300?

Kentucky, Montana, Vermont and West Virginia have announced they’ll throw in an additional $100 per week from their own coffers, raising the enhanced benefit to $400 per week. Once approved, Kansas plans to do the same.

Will Congress provided more funding for enhanced unemployment benefits?

Both Democratic and Republican leaders support extending some form of enhanced unemployment benefits in the next stimulus package. The problem? The two sides are in disagreements about others items in the bill and its total price tag.

And Democratic and Republican leaders haven’t negotiated since August 27.

The consensus on Capitol Hill is nothing will get signed before the end of September—when U.S. lawmakers are required to approve more federal funding to stave off a government shutdown.

Are states still getting approved for the $300 benefit?

This week Delaware, Illinois, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and North Dakota got approval to send out the $300 per week enhanced unemployment benefit. That brings the list of approved states to 45.

Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, and New Jersey are all in the process of getting approved.

However, South Dakota has turned down the $300 federal benefit, citing a strong economic rebound and no need for the additional aid.

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Lance Lambert

2020-09-07 13:10:00

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