An Aug. 8 Trump executive action calls for distributing a $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit reallocated from a $44 billion FEMA disaster fund.
Nearly 400,000 unemployed people in Arizona became the first Americans to receive the extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits last week.
At least four other states along with Arizona have begun paying out a federal boost to weekly unemployment benefits. Others have signalled they will do so within days.
Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas are the first states to pay out the aid.
Louisiana disbursed $240 million to roughly 300,000 eligible workers on Wednesday, according to a statement from the state’s Workforce Commission.
Tennessee started paying the aid Wednesday, according to Chris Cannon, spokesman for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The state received $236 million in initial funding.
Texas issued out more than $424 million this week, out of its total $1.38 billion in approved funding, according to spokesman Francisco Gamez.
Missouri began processing the $300 federal supplement Tuesday night and workers should soon start receiving payments, according to a statement from the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
According to Yahoo Money: “Vermont’s governor has requested $20 million in funding from the Vermont Legislature to provide an extra $100 a week, bringing the total benefit to $400.”
States must apply for the additional unemployment benefits first. When approved, they will receive an initial obligation of three weeks of needed funding,” according to the FEMA guidelines. Any extra after that will be decided on a week-by-week basis until the funds deplete.
As of Thursday, a total of 40 states have already been approved for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program and payment will begin in these states very soon.
Under the memorandum the president signed on Aug. 8, the federal government would provide $300 in benefits, while the state could choose to offer another $100. But the majority of states — operating under strained budgets — are opting for $300 a week as a cheaper and less complex one to administer.