(FOX 9) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday that the state has applied to a federal program that would provide a temporary additional $300 a week to Minnesotans receiving unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The temporary unemployment benefit comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Lost Wages Assistance program. Once FEMA approves the state’s application, the U.S. Department of the Treasury will transfer funding to Minnesota. The state’s Unemployment Insurance program will begin to pay benefits once the funding is received.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
To be eligible to receive the temporary additional benefit, an applicant must have a weekly unemployment benefit amount of at least $100 and must be unemployed due to COVID-19.
HOW TO APPLY
Those currently receiving unemployment benefits do not need to reapply or do anything other than complete their weekly benefits request to receive the additional $300 a week. New pplicants can go to https://www.uimn.org/lwa for more information.
WHEN WILL THE PAYMENTS START?
Once FEMA approves the state’s application, the U.S. Department of the Treasury will transfer funding to Minnesota. The state’s Unemployment Insurance program will begin to pay benefits once the funding is received.
If the state gets its federal approval quickly, it could start issuing the first payments to applicants at the end of the next week or the beginning of the week of Sept. 6.
WHO WILL GET THE MONEY FIRST?
The first three weeks for which the state will make lost wages assistance payments to eligible applicants are for the periods of:
- July 26 – August 1
- August 2 – August 8
- August 9 – August 15
PAYMENTS ARE RETROACTIVE
LWA benefits are retroactive to the week ending August 1, 2020.
WHY DID MINNESOTA WAIT SO LONG TO APPLY?
DEED said Minnesota leaders "carefully reviewed information from FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor to help ensure that the state would not face unforeseen costs related to the program." The federal deadline to apply for lost wages assistance is September 10.