The Lost Wages Assistance Program roller-coaster continues: Roughly half of the U.S. states are currently distributing the extra $300 unemployment benefit; half haven’t started yet; and now the $44 billion FEMA coffers that were funding the program are reportedly near empty. Here’s the latest update for Americans expecting benefits:
FEMA approved 49 states for the program (all but South Dakota) for varying numbers of weeks, and sent out funding in varying schedules and amounts. Only two dozen states have begun handing out the $300 weekly unemployment benefit, while the rest are scrambling to update their systems to distribute the federal funds. (California had 1,000 employees working on it over, um, Labor Day Weekend.) Now FEMA has reportedly paused payments to some of the faster-paying states, to ensure that the funds go around.
You might not receive as many weeks of funding as your state was approved for. New Mexico, for instance, was approved for six weeks, but has only received five weeks of funding. Florida is saying recipients will only receive four weeks, due to a different set of eligibility issues. To find out your state’s situation, search “[your state] $300 unemployment” on Google or check with your state’s labor department for LWA updates. Many have set up dedicated pages for information.