By Victor Omondi -Different states have begun mobilizing and submitting proposals to FEMA for the enhanced federal unemployment benefits that President Trump Approved on August 8. Initially, FEMA issued guidance to mitigate the confusion concerning how the program would be implemented.
FEMA confirmed that states wouldn’t have to add an extra $100 to secure $300 in federal funds. The majority of states seeking funds from FEMA have said they’re not going to pay unemployed workers an optional state match of $100.
However, three states will offer an additional $100 so that their unemployed workers will start receiving $400 per week. The states include Montana, West Virginia and Kentucky.
In regards to the next coronavirus package, President Donald Trump signed out four directives on August 8, one of which would provide enhanced unemployment relief to at least 30 million Americans.
The unemployment relief memorandum issued by President Trump required the federal government to cover at least 75% of a new weekly benefit of $400. States would then use money from their Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) or other programs to cover the rest.
However, “that was interpreted by many states to mean that they would have to provide an additional $100 per week for their residents to qualify for the benefit,” the Washington Post noted.
Trump further reinforced this interpretation through his verbatim comments from his press conference.
“I’m taking action to provide an additional or an extra $400 per week in expanded benefits: $400. Okay?” Trump said.
“States will be asked to cover 25 per cent of the cost using existing funding, such as the tens of billions of dollars available to them through the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Under this plan, states will be able to offer greater benefits if they so choose, and the federal government will cover 75 per cent of the cost. So we’re all set up. It’s $400 per week,” he added.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the budget shortfalls are expected to hit $555 billion, and, therefore, many claimed that it was impossible to fund an extra $100.