FEMA Authorized to Use Disaster Funds to Supplement Unemployment Benefits
To help ease the financial burden on those who are unemployed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, President Trump authorized FEMA to use Stafford Act disaster relief funds to provide supplemental payments for lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to $44 billion in Disaster Relief Funding is available to support this initiative.
FEMA will provide funding to states and territories that request and apply for assistance. Unemployed Americans who have lost wages because of COVID-19 may be eligible for assistance.
On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Since then, all 50 states, five territories, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the District of Columbia were approved for major disaster declarations to assist with additional needs. The new funding for lost wages is in addition to the $8.8 billion FEMA has already obligated in support of COVID-19 efforts.
FEMA is working closely with the White House and other federal agency partners to develop guidance on the process for states and territories to easily request and receive funds. States and territories may provide eligible individuals $400 per week, with a $300 federal contribution. The states and territories will administer the program and distribute the funds through their regular unemployment insurance system, as a supplemental payment.
This program will be applied retroactively to the week ending August 1 and continues through no later than December 6, 2020, or until the balance of the Disaster Relief Fund reaches $25 billion, or Congress enacts a replacement unemployment relief program.
Individuals who currently receive at least $100 per week of unemployment compensation benefits, and provide self-certification that they are unemployed, or are unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 are eligible for the supplement through their state or territory unemployment office.
If you have any questions regarding this FEMA Advisory, please contact FEMA Office of External Affairs, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division:
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