There are a lot of different numbers floating around out there when it comes to extra unemployment benefits. You may have heard that some people are getting $2,400 and some people are getting $1,800 and wonder why.
Here’s why some people are getting $2,400.
It all depends on the decisions made by your leaders at the state level. That’s because the federal government is only picking up 75% of the total, for $300 extra per week. What confused some people is that President Donald Trump, when he authorized the extended benefits in August, indicated that qualifying Americans would get $400 a week. However, $100 of that must be provided by the states as the feds are not picking up the full tab.
You can find a tracker to look up your own state later in this article.
The bottom line is that only a couple states authorized that extra $100. That means that people in a couple states are getting an extra $400, but people in most states are getting an extra $300 (and in one state, South Dakota, they’re getting no extra unemployment money.) That’s because states also had to apply to get the extra federal money.
The extra benefits are on top of what states already are paying people in unemployment, and they’re designed to be COVID-19 pandemic relief. The extra benefit was $600 a week for the first stages of the pandemic, but that sweetener expired.
How do you get $1,800 or $2,400 out of all of this? That’s the total amount the extra benefits are worth, depending on whether your state authorized $300 or $400, because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the extra payments to span a six-week time period. Some states are actually handing out the money in lump sum checks, but others aren’t.
Here’s what you need to know:
How to Look Up Your State’s Extra Unemployment Benefits
You can find information about your state here.
According to the tracker, only Kentucky, Montana, and West Virginia authorized the $400. That means that only people in those states are getting $2,400 when it’s all said and done.
People in the other states, except South Dakota, are getting $300 or $1,800. Altogether the extra unemployment money came from $44 billion that President Donald Trump allocated toward that purpose. States had until September 10 to apply for the money through what is called the Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance Grant.
FEMA Approved Six Weeks of Extra Unemployment Benefits
As noted, it’s FEMA that chose the overall time frame – and thus amount – people would get overall.
A federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson told CNBC, “States should plan to make payments to eligible claimants for no more than six weeks from the week ending Aug. 1, 2020.” That means that technically the time period has already ended, but it might take longer to get the money in people’s hands because states had to apply, get approved, and then process the money.
FEMA originally planned to authorize only three weeks of benefits, according to CBS News.
A FEMA spokesperson told CBS News: “Regardless of where the states and territories are in their process to receive and distribute the FEMA funding, FEMA will fund six weeks in $300 supplemental unemployment benefits to every state and territory that has applied for this assistance by September 10.”