What does the new COVID relief bill mean for unemployed Minnesotans?

The coronavirus relief package the president signed Sunday comes with an 11 week extension of unemployment benefits, as well as an additional $300 a week boost to state payments.

Minnesota officials say they’re doing all they can to make those funds available as soon as possible, but they’re still waiting for the money from the federal government—a deposit they think should show up in the coming days.

"Your check might not come as quickly as it once did because we're awaiting the arrival of the actual funds to disperse it, but we will make sure we make you whole going back to the day of December 26," said Steve Grove, Commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development. 

State unemployment benefits ran out after Christmas, but Grove says recipients will receive back pay.

"The benefits will be retroactive to the moment the federal benefits cut off," he said.

The federal COVID-19 relief bill largely overrides the package passed by the state legislature a few weeks ago, and is similar to the one passed over the summer.

"But you don't need to re-apply or do anything new if you're already in the system," he said. "You just have to keep telling us that you're unemployed and we'll move as quick as we can to get that money out."

Commissioner Grove said they’re expecting payments will start going out next week.

"Every single Minnesotan who needs this money matters to us, and we are working around the clock to make sure those checks get out."