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President Donald Trump signed a memorandum earlier this month that grants $300 enhanced weekly unemployment benefits to out-of-work if their state opts into the program.
As of Tuesday, seven states have been approved to send out $300 per week in federal funds on top of regular unemployment benefits, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
States that have been approved
- New Mexico
Meanwhile, South Dakota became the first state to turn down the offer, citing a strong economic rebound and no need for the additional aid. The June unemployment rate in South Dakota was 7.2%, compared a 11.1% national jobless rate. FEMA has yet to announce the status of the remaining 42 states.
The $300 weekly enhanced unemployment benefit replaces the $600 enhanced benefit that expired the week ending July 25. The White House opted to replace the $600 enhanced benefits through a memorandum after negations for a broad stimulus bill between Democratic and Republican leaders broke down earlier this month.
The $44 billion allocated by Trump for the enhanced unemployment benefit is estimated to last five weeks, through the week ending August 29, according to a report by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. And there still remains the possibility the memorandum will face a legal challenge.
The White House has already made it clear the benefit will be paid retroactive to the week ending August 1. And these $300 enhanced benefits will only go to jobless Americans who are already receiving at least $100 in state benefits. That is a smaller pool of recipients than the first round of enhanced checks, which weren’t limited in this manner.
Initially, Trump said he’d grant $400 enhanced weekly unemployment benefits to out-of-work Americans if their state picked up $100 of the tab. But after that announcement, states made it clear they couldn’t afford to throw in more money. As a result, the White House allowed states to count $100 of existing benefits as their match to get the $300 weekly federal benefit. Thus the enhanced benefit is now $300 per week, not $400.
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