The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved for Minnesotans to receive $300 in weekly unemployment benefits this fall. FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor issued the grant through the Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance program.
The approval comes one day after Governor Tim Walz announced his decision on Friday to apply for additional unemployment payments. Walz explained this was a necessary decision based on the continued COVID-19 mandates.
Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan added that the Lost Wages Assistance program does some good, but not enough.
“The Lost Wages Assistance program is important, and provides much-needed emergency help. But it is not part of a comprehensive package to help workers and businesses struggling as this pandemic continues. What we need is our federal patterns to come together to provide well-planned and thorough relief for Minnesotans and other Americans in need.”
The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program is administered by Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The program issued a news update that stated to expect no response on the application for at least another week. However, FEMA approved the request the next day.
The first three weeks that the payments will apply toward are: July 26th through August 1st, August 2nd through August 8th, and August 9th through August 15th.
“We will continue requesting funds on a week-by-week basis each week thereafter, until FEMA runs out of funding for this program,” states the website.
At the beginning of this month, President Trump authorized FEMA to issue $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) toward lost wage payments. The funding created the Lost Wages Assistance program.
Payments will begin once the U.S. Treasury transfers funds into Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Program. DEED estimates payments may begin anytime from September 5th to 12th.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Minnesota Sun and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].