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Recently, President Donald Trump called off negotiations for the fifth round of the Coronavirus stimulus package. This implies that millions of unemployed Americans looking for a boost in unemployment benefits are out of luck, at least for some time, and may have to depend on regular unemployment benefits from the federal or state government. In some states, it may be as little as $5 a week.

Why Isn’t The Federal Government Giving A New Stimulus Bill?

After weeks of failed discussion on the new stimulus package between the Congress and the White House, President Donald Trump put an end to negotiations until after the election.

On October 6, President Trump tweeted, “I am rejecting their request, and looking to the future of our Country. I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.” 

Effects Of Delay In The New Stimulus Package 

According to the U.S. Department Of Labor (DOL) reports, there is a surge in new unemployment claims filed across the United States, and more than 26 million Americans are presently collecting unemployment benefits.

A delay in the new stimulus package (or enhanced unemployment benefits), like as mentioned earlier, will force the unemployed Americans to solely rely on their traditional or regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, provided by the federal or state government and settle down with just $5 a week. 

Also, the delay will kill the hopes of those looking for extending enhanced unemployment benefits. The situation would be similar to that when the $600 weekly benefit provided under the CARES Act ended in July and also the expiration of the subsequent $300 to $400 weekly benefit announced through an executive order in August. 

How Much Benefits Do States Provide Under The Regular Unemployment Program?

According to the Department Of Labor’s August reports, the states pay $1,220.36 unemployment benefits per month or $305.09 per week. Note that this is not the precise number but only the average.

It is important to understand that the amount of benefits paid per week varies from one state to another as they have to balance the checkbook. Below, let’s see which states pay more weekly benefits and which pay less.

States That Pay the Highest Weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefits

According to the reports of the Labor Department, the following states pay the highest unemployment benefits. 

  • Massachusetts pays up to $1,234 a week
  • Minnesota pays up to $740 a week
  • Washington pays up to $790 a week

Note – The higher weekly payments result from having dependents.

Most states pay a maximum of $400 or more weekly benefits. The maximum unemployment benefit across the U.S. is about $2,104 per month or $526 weekly on average.

States That Pay the Lowest Weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The following states pay the lowest minimum unemployment benefits. 

  • Hawaii pays as low as $5 a week
  • North Carolina pays as little as $15 a week
  • Louisiana as low as $10 a week

Many states pay benefits less than $100 (minimum) per week. The average minimum benefit across the U.S. is $244 per month or $61 weekly.

Are States Paying Benefits Equal To the Federal Minimum Wage?

It is estimated that most states pay less unemployment benefits a week than one could earn by working for approximately 40 hours at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. According to the Economic Policy Institute, “A parent working full time while earning the minimum wage today earns too little to bring his family, even if it is just a family of two above the federal poverty line.”

Standalone Bill: An Alternative Relief Measure

Even though President Donald Trump called off negotiations for a comprehensive stimulus deal, he has indicated that he is willing to send another round of $1,200 stimulus checks and approving funding for airlines and small businesses. 

$1,200 Stimulus Checks 

President Donald Trump announced he would sign a bill authorizing another $1,200 stimulus check at the earliest. The checks are believed to help thousands of unemployed Americans, however, a shift in eligibility criteria would impact the individual’s final payment. 

The second stimulus check is expected to give $1,200 to the eligible adults, and qualifying child dependents are expected to get $1,000. Older adults, including retirees over age 65 are also likely to be eligible for a second stimulus check. Many factors would contribute to the chances of receiving the second check for retired and older adults. Some of the factors include the AGI, tax filings, pension, whether the IRS considers them a dependent person, and the SSDI program (only if they are a part of it). 

Airline Assistance

The airlines are one of the sectors worst hit by the Coronavirus-induced economic shutdown. Ever since the pandemic began, the sector has furloughed thousands of employees and is expecting assistance to survive through the crisis. Having understood the situation, the negotiators have tagged airline assistance for standalone legislation. 

On October 8, Pelosi stated, “Let me just be really clear. I have been very open to having a standalone bill for the airlines.” 

Earlier, the House had passed a $28.8 billion airline support bill that acted as the starting point for legislation. 

Paycheck Protection Program

The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) was a part of the CARES Act announced in March 2020. PPP aimed at providing forgivable loans guaranteed by the federal to the small businesses to cover their payroll and other costs. President Trump stated that he would “sign now” a bill that authorizes extra funding to protect small-business payrolls.

Closing Thoughts 

The $1,200 stimulus check is intended to help unemployed Americans to get through pandemic-related expenses and boost the U.S. economy. However, it is still unclear whether the qualified can expect to receive the checks any time soon. 

 

In total, 49 states received the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) approval to pay out $300 additional weekly benefits to the qualified people. Some states began giving out payments in August, others had to wait till September. While some states are still paying $300 unemployment benefits, others have depleted their funding. 

This article will guide you through the states that are still paying out an extra $300 weekly unemployment benefits to the eligible people. 

List Of States That Are Still Paying $300 Unemployment Benefits

1. Alabama 

The state received FEMA approval on August 21 and began rolling out payments on September 3. According to the Alabama Department of Labor, the residents will be notified if they have qualified for additional unemployment benefits and if they need to take any additional steps to receive the payments. The state will continue to provide $300 benefits per week until it runs out of funds. 

2. Alaska 

Though Alaska received FEMA’s approval on August 23, it did not begin paying its residents’ additional weekly benefits yet. The state is expected to begin paying out benefits in mid-October. According to the authorities, the eligible Alaskans need not take any steps to enroll in the program. The state will automatically pay them benefits. 

3. Arkansas 

Arkansas is one of the states that is still paying $300 unemployment benefits. The state received FEMA’s approval on August 25 and began rolling out benefits in September. The Division of Workforce stated that qualified people need not take any action to receive extra unemployment benefits in Arkansas. The authorities will send letters to the qualified residents notifying that they will receive the payments. 

4. California

California received FEMA’s approval on August 21 and began paying out benefits on September 7. The extra benefits are expected to last only for three weeks in the state. According to the Employment Development Department (EDD), qualified residents need not take any extra action to receive the payments as the Department will automatically collect details and pay benefits. 

5. Colorado 

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 16 and began paying out benefits on September 18. The Department of Labor and Employment announced that it would pay the extra unemployment benefits in Colorado in two installments, and the program would end when it runs out of funding.

6. Connecticut 

Connecticut received approval from FEMA on August 24 and started paying its residents on September 17. Residents who are already receiving benefits through regular and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA) need not take any action to enroll in the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. 

But new claimants must self-certify that they are unemployed due to the direct result of COVID-19 to receive an additional $300 unemployment benefits in Connecticut. 

7. Delaware 

Delaware received FEMA’s approval on September 2 and began paying out benefits on September 14. The state requires the residents to self-certify that they are unemployed due to COVID-19 to receive the payments. 

8. Florida 

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 29. According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, no additional applications are required if one is receiving benefits through the Reemployment Assistance program. Initially, the state announced that it would provide benefits for up to six weeks, but the LWA program will end faster than expected. 

9. Georgia 

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 23. According to the authorities, those who are receiving benefits through regular unemployment and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program will not be required to take any additional actions to receive benefits. 

10. Hawaii

Hawaii received FEMA approval on August 29, but it didn’t start paying benefits yet. The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial stated that the eligible people could expect to receive payments in October. 

To receive additional unemployment benefits in Hawaii, one should self-certify that he or she is unemployed due to the direct result of COVID-19. But those receiving benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program need not make any additional action.

11. Illinois

The state received FEMA’s approval on September 1. However, it is unclear when it will begin to give away benefits. According to the authorities, the residents who are receiving benefits through the regular unemployment program and meet state listed requirements need not take any additional action to receive additional Illinois unemployment benefits.  

12. Indiana

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 21, and the payment is set to begin on September 21. According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, residents should self-certify to receive additional weekly Indiana unemployment benefits. 

13. Kansas

Kansas was approved for extra unemployment funding on September 7. To qualify for $300 weekly unemployment benefits in Kansas, the residents should self-certify that they lost their job due to COVID-19. 

14. Kentucky

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 21. According to the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance, the qualified people will receive $400 additional benefits. To receive additional Kentucky unemployment benefits, residents will be required to self-certify that they are unemployed due to COVID-19.

15. Maine

Kansas was approved for extra unemployment funding on August 25 and began giving out benefits on September 11. Residents who didn’t notify that they lost their job due to the direct result of COVID-19 must self-certify. If additional information is required, the authorities will mail a letter or notify such residents through their ReEmployME account correspondence tab.

16. Maryland

Maryland was approved for extra unemployment funding on August 29 and began giving out benefits on September 11. To qualify for extra Maryland unemployment benefits, residents must self-certify that they lost their job due to the direct result of COVID-19.

17. Michigan 

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 21. To receive extra unemployment benefits in Michigan, residents must self-certify that they have lost their job due to COVID-19. The benefits will be given until the state runs out of funding.  

18. Mississippi

Mississippi was approved for extra unemployment funding on August 22 and began giving out benefits on September 12. To qualify for extra Mississippi unemployment benefits, residents need not file additional applications. The payments will be added to their existing unemployment benefits.

19. Nebraska

The state received FEMA’s approval on September 9. To receive extra Nebraska unemployment benefits, residents must self-certify that they have lost their job due to COVID-19. The benefits will be given until the state runs out of funding.  

20. Nevada 

Nevada is one of the states that are still paying $300 unemployment benefits. The state which received FEMA’s approval on September 11 will pay benefits until it runs out of funds. To qualify for additional unemployment benefits in Nevada, residents must self-certify that they are unemployed due to COVID-19. The residents can expect to receive the payment in 4 to 6 weeks.

21. New Jersey

New Jersey received FEMA approval for extra federal unemployment funding on September 4. It is unclear if residents should take extra action to enroll in the program. The state is expected to provide benefits until it runs out of funds.

22. New Mexico

New Mexico is one of the states that are still paying $300 unemployment benefits. The state received FEMA’s approval on August 15 and began rolling out benefits on September 3. According to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, residents must self-certify that they are unemployed due to the direct result of COVID-19 to enroll in Lost Wages Assistance benefits.

23. North Carolina

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 21 and began giving benefits on September 3. To receive extra North Carolina unemployment benefits, residents must self-certify that they have lost their job due to COVID-19. The benefits will be given until the state runs out of funding.  

24. North Dakota

New Dakota is one of the states that are still paying $300 unemployment benefits. The state received FEMA’s approval on August 31 and began rolling out benefits on September 10. According to the Job Service North Dakota, residents must self-certify that they are unemployed due to the direct result of COVID-19 to enroll in Lost Wages Assistance benefits.

25. Ohio

Ohio received FEMA approval for extra federal unemployment funding on August 26. According to the Department of Job and Family Services, residents must self-certify that they lost a job due to the direct result of COVID-19 to receive benefits. 

26. Oregon

Oregon was approved for extra unemployment funding on August 28. To qualify for extra Oregon unemployment benefits, residents must self-certify that they have lost their job due to COVID-19. The Oregon Unemployment Department has launched the self-certification process for applicants to submit evidence they have lost work due to the direct result of COVID-19. 

27. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania was approved for extra $300 unemployment funding on August 24 and began rolling out payments on September 10. To enroll in the Lost Wages Assistance, residents must self-certify that they are unemployed due to COVID-19.

28. Rhode Island

Rhode Island received approval from FEMA on August 22 and started paying its residents on September 3. The Department of Labor and Training announced that residents who are already receiving unemployment benefits would automatically receive the enhanced payments and need not take any action to enroll in the Lost Wages Assistance program. 

29. South Carolina

The state received FEMA’s approval on September 1. To be eligible for an additional $300 unemployment benefits in South Carolina, residents must self-certify that they are unemployed due to COVID-19 to receive the payments. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is expected to begin paying out benefits late September or early October. 

30. Vermont

Vermont was approved for extra unemployment benefits funding on August 22. It will provide $400, of which $300 is given by the federal, and the state contributes $ 100. To qualify for $400 weekly unemployment benefits in Vermont, residents who receive benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance need not take any additional action. But those collecting benefits through the traditional unemployment program must take state listed additional steps

31. Virginia

Virginia was approved for the extra unemployment funding on August 26 and began giving out benefits on September 30. To enroll in the Lost Wages Assistance program, residents who didn’t indicate to authorities that they lost their job due to the direct result of COVID-19 must self-certify.

32. Washington

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 24 and began paying benefits on September 22. To qualify for $300 additional Vermont weekly unemployment benefits, residents who receive benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance need not take any additional steps. But those collecting benefits through the traditional unemployment program must take state listed additional actions

33. Wisconsin

Wisconsin received FEMA’s approval on September 1. The residents can expect to receive payments in October. To qualify for additional unemployment benefits in Wisconsin, claimants need not undertake any additional actions. The state will automatically add benefits to regular payments. 

34. Wyoming

Wyoming was approved for extra unemployment funding on August 28 and began paying benefits on September 11. To qualify for extra Wyoming unemployment benefits, claimants need not take any additional steps.

Final Words

The $300 additional weekly unemployment benefits are expected to soon deplete in many states, leaving unemployed Americans to look forward to new financial measures. But with the presidential election approaching, it is unlikely another relief aid measure will be implemented any time soon.

 

 

Sally, the first hurricane to make landfall in Alabama since Hurricane Ivan in 2004, strengthened to a tropical storm after making landfall near Miami, Florida. The tropical storm slowly garnered strength until it was given Category 1 status and intensified into a Category II hurricane, on the same evening. 

The hurricane brings almost 61cm (2ft) of rains and winds ranging to 85mph (135kmh). The National Hurricane Center (NHC) stated that Sally might cause “historic flooding” and “extreme life-threatening flash flooding.” In addition, widespread flash flood, severe thunderstorm, and tornado warnings were issued.

Hurricane Sally’s harsh downpour will most probably damage numerous buildings and cause power outages leaving people, at least for a while, out of places to work. As the states bordering the Gulf Coast engage in preemptive measures to safeguard their citizens, another detrimental consequence tends to be the loss of employment. 

How Are States Preparing To Cope With Sally?

The coronavirus pandemic still continues to challenge the stretched resources available with the states. They are having to allocate more funds and manpower to deal with Hurricane Sally. Here is a look at how the states bordering the Gulf Coast are preparing for the impact:

Louisiana

In preparation for the upcoming hurricane, the governor of Louisiana declared an emergency across the state, that is still reeling from Hurricane Laura’s effects. Public schools and universities were canceled, and shelters were opened.

Alabama

Kay Ivey, Alabama’s governor, issued evacuation orders to flood-prone and low-lying areas and closed off all the beaches on the coast. An emergency was also declared in Alabama in preparation for the approaching storm.

Mississippi

The Mississippi governor, while declaring the emergency, urged citizens to prepare for Hurricane Sally. As the rain could be very heavy in the southern parts of the state, some mandatory evacuation orders were issued. Shelters were opened for evacuees.  

The respective governments are taking measures to mitigate the effects of the damage caused by the hurricane. They are likely to take funds from the Disaster Unemployment Assistance to take care of their unemployed citizens.

Impact Of Hurricane Sally

Gusts of up to 105mph, relentless rainfall, and a growing storm surge ravaged buildings, boats, and hurled debris around Alabama. Trees bent over, almost three feet of water submerged the vehicles parked on the roads, and over half a million consumers were left without power as the winds knocked down power lines. Videos doing rounds on social media depict the severity of the considerable damages caused by the hurricane.

Mississippi

Jackson County in Mississippi was victim to most of Sally’s flooding. A power outage was experienced on the eastern side of the city. More than 10,000 people had no power during the storm’s peak stage.

Alabama

Dauphin Island in Alabama experienced storm surge flooding but Orange Beach was the most affected by the flooding.

Several condos in Gulf shores were damaged, with a few completely destroyed. A gas station was reported to be destroyed in the Spanish Port area.

Most of the major structural damages were recorded at Mobile and the Gulf Shores.

Florida

Sally’s asymmetrical nature caused continual thunderstorms and showers since September 12. Multiple tornado warnings were issued across Florida. Special marine warnings indicative of hazardous marine conditions were also issued for the Florida coasts. Florida’s Panhandle area bore the brunt of the storm. 

Other areas

The south part of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana overflowed because of Sally’s winds. Two tornadoes were reported in Georgia. Rincon and Eastover, South Carolina, also witnessed a tornado.

Hurricane Sally’s Effect on Unemployment

Even as Sally weakened to a tropical depression, it has caused substantial damage to life and property. We are yet to see how Sally will impact the economy of the local areas. The hurricane may boost the U.S. joblessness claims that are already in millions because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The situation in the U.S. does not look favorable to people who are already facing unemployment.

Many businesses have already closed down, heeding the warnings issued. It is going to be difficult for them to recover even after the hurricane. It is likely that some businesses will survive the loss of revenue, but the employees who depend on their daily or weekly wages will be the hardest hit. The hurricane’s impact on the job market will be detrimental to the local employees.

Federal Response To Hurricane Sally

President Trump gave his consent to declaring an emergency in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. This declaration sanctions the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer protective assistance and measures to the worst affected areas.

Incident Management Teams from FEMA were deployed to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to ensure no unmet needs. Additional teams from the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Defense, Health and Human Services, and others are preparing to provide further supportive measures to affected states and tribes.

The U.S Department of Labor set up the following special assistance programs for the unemployed:

  • A collaborative effort by the IRS, U.S. Department of Treasury, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is planning to release compliance guidelines for employee benefit plans and decide the beneficiaries and participants as a mitigative measure to Sally’s effect on workers.
  • The Office of Workers Compensation relaxed the refill restrictions on medication for injured workers displaced as a result of Hurricane Sally.  
  • The Employment and Training Administration is gearing up to provide Disaster Dislocated Worker Grants to help the workforce in the affected states.

In situations like this, filing for Unemployment Insurance (UI) may help them make ends meet. If one does not meet the criteria required for this, he or she can apply for the Hurricane Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program. The unemployment benefits due to the hurricane can be collected for up to 26 weeks since the government’s DUA announcement.

New York is one of the states that received the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) approval to provide additional benefits to the unemployed residents. Though it received approval in August, the state has not begun paying out the benefits. If you are wondering when you can expect to collect the $300 unemployment benefits in New York, you have landed on the right page! 

This article will tell you when the state will begin paying out the additional benefits and more. 

When Can You Expect To Receive $300 Unemployment Benefits In New York?

Recently, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it would start giving out the extra $300 weekly benefits to unemployed residents beginning next week. The payment will be sent on a rolling basis under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. The payment will retroactively cover the weeks that ended on August 2, 9, and 16. 

Who Qualifies For $300 Unemployment Benefits In New York?

To be eligible for the additional weekly benefits, you should meet the following eligibility criteria. 

  1. You should be receiving or qualify for receiving a minimum of $100 weekly benefits through any of the following programs. 
  • Regular or traditional New York Unemployment Insurance (UI) Compensation
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Extended Benefits (EB) or any other federal programs 
  1. You should self-certify that you are fully or partially unemployed as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Should You Apply For Additional Unemployment Benefits In New York?

According to the state’s Department Of Labor, if you are already receiving payment under the regular unemployment program and have certified that you lost your job due to the pandemic in your initial claim, you need not take any further action. The Department will send you an email or a text message notifying that you have pre-qualified for the additional benefits. 

But if you have not certified, you must do it immediately, failing which you may not receive your additional benefits. You can certify through either online or by phone.  

Note that you can certify starting Friday, September 11th. If you are certifying over the phone, call 833-491-0632, an automated phone system. But if you are certifying online, you should follow the instructions given in the secure DocuSign email that you received from DOL. 

Note – You will receive payments starting next week, provided you have self-certified by 5 pm on September 15th.

How Long Will The Benefits Be Available In The State?

Funding under the LWA program will be available until December 2020 unless any of the following events occurs before the scheduled deadline.

  1. The $44 billion funds set aside for the LWA program is depleted. 
  2. The balance of the federal Disaster Relief Fund falls below $25 billion.
  3. Congress replaces the LWA program.

What To Do If Your Extra Benefits Are Denied?

If your benefits are denied but you believe you qualify, you can file an unemployment appeal. Note that you must file within 30 days from the mailing date of the Determination Notice. Fill the appeal form attached to the Determination Notice and request a hearing with the Department. If the form is not attached, you can fill the online form on the Department’s website. 

The Department will review your application and schedule an informal conference to attempt to resolve the matter. At the conference, you can present evidence and place your argument. 

If you disagree with its decision, you can request a hearing with the Administrative Law Judge. During the hearing, you can present your testimony to support your argument. After inspecting the evidence. the Judge will give his or her decision. 

If you are unhappy with the Administrative Law Judge’s decision, you can file an appeal to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (UIAB). Apply your appeal in writing, within 20 days of the Administrative Law Judge decision. 

The UIAB will review your application and send you a Notice of Receipt of Appeal that explains how to submit a statement on appeal along with the Appeal Board case number. You must submit your statement within 7 days of the date of receiving the Notice of Receipt of Appeal.

You can request to review the hearing transcript before submitting your statement. If you wish to review, the authorities will send a written notice when the file is available. 

The UIAB does not require any additional testimony. It relies on written statements and documents submitted as part of the appeal and evidence used at hearing with the Administrative Law Judge. 

After listening to arguments and inspecting evidence, the UIAB will give its decision. If you disagree with it, you can file an appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Third Judicial Department.

Note – Make sure you don’t miss the hearing. If there is an emergency and you are unable to attend the hearing, request a postponement. 

How To Reschedule A Hearing? 

If you wish to reschedule the hearing, write to the concerned authorities and request an adjournment while mentioning the same reason. If your request is denied, apply for a re-opening.

Can You Collect Extra Benefits If You Are Recently Unemployed?

You will receive $300 unemployment benefits based on your employment status in August 2020. If you have lost your job in September, you may not qualify for extra benefits but only the regular New York Unemployment Insurance program. 

Final Words 

The Department has begun emailing the qualified New Yorkers to inform them of their payment status. If you too are expecting the payment, keep an eye out for messages from DOL, and respond immediately if it requires any additional certification. 

Ever since President Donald Trump signed the new executive order, states have begun applying for funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Though 44 states have received FEMA’s approval, only 6 states are paying out the $300 additional amount to the qualified people. 

Here, we have listed states that have begun paying the extra unemployment benefits. Let’s have a look at them. 

States Paying Out $300 Additional Unemployment Benefits

States paying out the $300 additional benefits are as follows.

1. Arizona 

Arizona was one of the states which received FEMA’s approval and began paying out the extra benefits to the qualified people. Till date, more than 400,000 Arizonans have received $300 additional unemployment benefits. The payments were made retroactively for all weeks after July 26 when an additional $600 federal payments lapsed.

Only those who met any one of the following requirements received the benefits in the state.

  • Arizonans who were receiving a minimum of $100 through regular unemployment benefits
  • Arizonans who received $100 under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program 

However, the claimants are likely to stop receiving the benefits in the upcoming weeks. Michael Wisehart, Director of the Department of Economic Security (DES), stated, “Arizonans receiving the additional pay on top of the regular $240 unemployment benefits per week for the past month will get the payment this week and possibly the next. But the pool of federal cash that President Donald Trump tapped may run out after that.”

Wisehart further stated, “Right now, we know for sure that we can pay the benefits this week. But though we have an expectation, we are not certain that we will be able to pay next week.”

2. Iowa 

The Iowa Workforce Development began accepting applications and processing payments on September 3. The Department stated that it would take 5-7 business days for claimants to receive benefits. 

The payments are retroactive to August 1 and are paid to residents who:

  • Are eligible for receiving at least $100 weekly benefits through any of the federal programs
  • Have certified that he or she lost a job due to the Coronavirus pandemic

Those who have self-certified in the initial claim need not reapply for additional benefits. But those who didn’t, must notify the Department failing to which benefits will not be paid. 

3. Louisiana

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) began paying out the $300 additional unemployment benefits on Wednesday, August 26. “Since then, about 300,000 jobless workers in the state have received an extra payment in addition to their regular unemployment benefits,” stated the Commission. 

“Another 50,000 Louisianans are scheduled to collect the extra $300 payment,” the Commission added.

The payments are retroactive to August 1 for those who met eligibility criteria during that period. The state listed requirements are:

  • One should be receiving a minimum of $100 under regular unemployment benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program
  • One has certified that he or she is fully or partially unemployed due to the pandemic

However, according to LWC, those who previously did not submit self-certification and did not qualify for benefits, can be eligible if they recertified that they are unemployed due to the pandemic.

The commission advised claimants to wait for 24 to 48 hours for the payment to show up in their accounts.

4. Missouri

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations started paying the additional unemployment benefits in Missouri on Monday, August 25. The payments are retroactive to August 1 and are expected to last for 4 to 5 weeks. 

To receive benefits, A Missourian should meet certain eligibility requirements. They include:

  • An individual must be eligible to receive a minimum $100 weekly unemployment benefits under regular unemployment benefits or other federal programs
  • An individual must indicate that he or she is fully or partially unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic

Missourians who have self-certified that they are unemployed in their initial unemployment claim need not take any extra action to receive the additional benefits. Instead, the Department will automatically add the extra $300 to their weekly benefit.  

To Missourians who did not notify that they were unemployed due to the pandemic but meet the minimum $100 requirement, the state will send either mailed correspondence or Email on their potential eligibility for the new executive program.

5. Minnesota 

The state began paying Lost Wage Assistance benefits on September 4. The payments are dated back to the week that ended on July 26. To qualify for unemployment benefits in Minnesota, one should meet eligibility requirements. They include: 

  • One should receive a minimum $100 weekly benefits through any of the federal programs
  • One should self-certify that he or she is unemployed due to the pandemic

6. Montana

The Department of Labor and Industry began distributing the additional unemployment benefits in Montana on Wednesday, August 26, under the Lost Wages Assistance program. Montana is one of the states providing $400 enhanced benefits to qualified people. The first week for which the payment was available was the week that ended August.

To qualify for this additional payment, the residents must meet eligibility requirements such as:

  • Should be eligible to receive at least $100 benefits under regular unemployment or other federal programs
  • Must certify that they are fully or partially unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic

For those who did not self-certify in the initial claims, the state ask to confirm if they were unemployed due to the direct result of the pandemic in their weekly payment request form. If yes, the state will begin paying out additional benefits to such individuals. 

Though claimants are not required to fill out a separate UI claim for the extra benefits, the state will pay Lost Wages Assistance funds in a separate direct deposit or add the amount to regular benefits. 

7. North Carolina 

The state’s Division of Employment Security began paying out the additional benefits on September 3. It is expected to pay for weeks that ended August 1, August 8, and August 15. To qualify for additional benefits in North Carolina, one should meet eligibility requirements such as: 

  • Be eligible to receive at least $100 weekly benefits through any of the federal programs
  • Self-certify that he or she is unemployed due to the direct result of the pandemic 

If one has not self-certified, he or she can visit File Lost Wages Assistance Certification in the Customer Menu page in the online UI account and complete the process.   

8. Tennessee

The state’s Department Of Labor began paying Lost Wage Assistance benefits on August 26. The state made payment for the 1st three weeks of August, totaling $900, i.e., $300 per week. 

Note that not all unemployed are eligible for the additional unemployment benefits in Tennessee. To qualify, Tennesseans must be unemployed due to the pandemic and receive a minimum of $100 per week through any one of the following programs.

  • Regular unemployment compensation
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
  • Extended Benefits payments
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Those who have qualified for benefits on August 1 and continued to apply for weekly claims will automatically receive them. The state will either add the amount to regular state benefits or will pay separately. 

9. Texas

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) began distributing the additional unemployment benefits in August. The initial payment period was for the first three weeks ending August 1, August 8, and August 15. To qualify for the extra unemployment benefits in Texas, one must:

  • Be eligible to receive a minimum $100 weekly benefits under regular unemployment or other federal programs 
  • Have certified that they lost the job due to the pandemic

Those who are already receiving regular unemployment benefits need not apply separately for the extra payment. The state will give it along with the regular benefits. But if one is new to applying for unemployment benefits, he or she should certify that he or she lost the job due to the pandemic’s direct results. 

Closing Words

Other states are expected to begin paying out the additional $300 benefits to the qualified people at the earliest. But if you are living in any of the above-listed states, you can soon expect to receive payment to your bank account. If you live in a state which has not yet begun paying benefits, remain patient. 

The month of July saw the American economy adding 1.8 million jobs to the total nonfarm payroll. These numbers are a positive indicator as the nation witnessed the restarting of several economic activities throughout the country. Several posts were added to the health care, professional and business services, retail trade, government, leisure, and hospitality verticals. But the employment situation in July is not all that rosy as it may seem. 

On the downside, the unemployment rate is 10.2%, which is higher than the lay-off rate during the Great Recession between 2017 – 2019. Also, the increasing number of cases in South Carolina, Oregon, and Alabama have left job seekers in these states in the lurch. 

The unemployment crisis has been quite severe for the last few months, with the unemployment rate spiking to 14.7% in April. Subsequently, the unemployment rate dropped to 13.3% in May, and 11.1% in June. 

Key Unemployment Stats For July

The unemployment rate in July dropped by 0.9%, capping a figure of 10.2%. With the slight drop in the unemployment rate in July, what now needs to be seen is whether the number drops further in the following months or not. 

Major Ups and Downs in July

Last month saw the service sector adding a majority of jobs. The leisure and hospitality vertical added 592,000 jobs in July, accounting for one-third of the total nonfarm job gains. Another prominent sector is the food services and bars sector. It saw an increased spike in jobs, adding 502,000 jobs in July. But despite the increasing jobs in this sector, the situation is not as good as before the pandemic began.   

The government sector also added 301,000 jobs in July. Also, the public sector education vertical saw an increase of +215,000 jobs in the local government education sector vertical. The state government education sector added +30,000 jobs last month. Since the election season is just around the corner, the federal government also hired +27,000 temporary employees. 

The retail trade vertical also performed quite well last month, adding 258,000 jobs. Most of the jobs in this sector took place in the clothing accessories stores division. Interestingly, the warehouse stores and large shopping supercenters saw a loss of 64,000 jobs.

170,000+ jobs have been added in July in the professional and business services sector. Most of the job gains in this sector occurred in the temporary help services vertical. The other services sector also added 149,000 jobs, with significant gains in personnel and laundry services. 

 Health care has turned out to be one of the most critical sectors in these times by adding 126,000 jobs. The verticals that hired the most were the dentists, hospitals, physician’s offices, and the home healthcare services industry. But job losses continued in the residential care and nursing facilities.

The other prominent sectors that hired talent were social support, transport, and warehousing, manufacturing, financial activities, construction, and mining. Several jobs were also added in the gambling, recreational, and amusement verticals, respectively.

Establishment Survey Data

It is essential to look into the hourly earning and other critical aspects that keep the workforce running in these tough times. The points mentioned below will give you a better insight on the hourly earnings of employees in the country.

  1. Hourly earnings for all nonfarm employees increased by 7% in July.
  2. The current amount stands at $29.39
  3. Average hourly earnings for nonsupervisory and production employees currently stands at $24.63
  4. The workweek for all nonfarm employees stood at 34.5 hours in the last month.
  5. For manufacturing employees, the workweek stood at 39.7 hours in July.
  6. Production and nonsupervisory employee’s workweek was 34.0 hours last month.

Household Survey Data

Workers Group  Unemployment Rate
Adult Men 9.4 percent
Adult Women 10.5 percent
Teenagers 19.3 percent
White Population 9.2 percent
Black Population 14.6 percent
Asian Population 12.0 percent
Hispanics 12.9 percent

 

What’s surprising in the above data is that the unemployment rate for adult men and the white population is below 10%. However, for all other categories mentioned in this table, the unemployment rate stands above 10%. 

The reason for such a high unemployment rate across all categories is due to several factors. The most prominent reason being that the country’s economy has not yet recovered from the coronavirus pandemic. The other notable reason for the high unemployment rate across all categories is the massive shutdowns of several industries and some businesses slow restarting.  

Other Unemployment Aspects To Consider

Job seekers and the unemployed must understand lots more on the unemployment trends and other critical aspects. The points mentioned below will give you a clear picture of what to expect. 

  1. The number of part-time employees spiked up to 23 million people in July.
  2. People who work part-time due to economic reasons stood at 8.4 million in July.
  3. People who are looking for a job stand at 7.7 million. 
  4. The number of people marginally attached to the workforce stood at 2 million last month.

Conclusion

With a slight revival of the economy, the unemployed should look on the bright side as things are slowly but steadily picking up. Since many sectors have added jobs in these times of uncertainty, the situation looked good in July.  But what’s yet to be seen is if the infection starts spreading in areas already once affected, things could get terrible for the unemployed.  

On August 8, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that provides $400 extra benefits. As per the new order, the federal government would provide $300 additional unemployment benefits per week, and the states are responsible for contributing the remaining $100. 

While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would contribute an extra $300, on behalf of the federal government, states were given the option to choose how they would pay the remaining $100 and decide if they would even pay it. 

Note that the $300 federal unemployment benefits are not automatic. States must apply through FEMA for a grant. So, which states have applied for a grant with FEMA?  

In this article, we have listed which states have received approval to offer $300 additional unemployment benefits. We have also listed the benefit amount each state would provide.

List Of States Approved By FEMA 

Below is the list of states that have applied and have been approved by FEMA. 

1. Alabama

FEMA approved Alabama’s application on August 21. Based on the Department Of Labor (DOL) and FEMA estimations, the Alabama Department of Labor stated, “The eligible people could expect to receive the payment in approximately 3 weeks.”

2. Alaska

Though Alaska received FEMA’s approval on August 23, the qualified people won’t receive the payment immediately. According to the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Alaskans will have to wait for at least 6 six to 8 weeks to receive the benefits.

3. Arizona

Arizona, which received FEMA’s approval on August 15, is the first state to give out $300 additional unemployment benefits. The state has distributed an estimated $201 million to eligible Arizonans. 

An estimation of 250,000 unemployed Arizonans has received the $300 federal unemployment benefit in addition to regular benefits. The extra benefits were retroactively paid for the August first week.

4. Arkansas

Though the state received FEMA’s approval on August 25, it is still unclear when the residents will start to receive benefits. 

5. California

Though at first California Governor Gavin Newsom didn’t support the order, he then applied for the grant through FEMA, which was approved on August 21. But it is unclear when the Californians could receive the payment.

6. Colorado

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 16. But it is unclear when the qualified people could expect the benefits. But Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment has not yet determined the benefit amount nor has any approximation on development timelines to reprogram the systems to give the extra benefits.

7. Connecticut 

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 24. The qualified people can expect payment within 3 to 4 weeks. 

8. Delaware

FEMA approved Delaware’s application on September 2. However, it is unclear when the qualified people can expect the payment. 

9. Florida

Florida received FEMA’s approval on August 29. But the state’s Department has not announced when the residents can expect the payment. 

10. Georgia

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 23. But it is still unclear when the state’s Department of Labor would provide the add-on benefit. 

11. Hawaii

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 29. The state’s Department Of Labor is building a new program to implement and payout benefits. 

12. Idaho

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 19. The state’s Department Of Labor is yet to announce when the qualified Idahoans can expect to receive the benefits.

13. Illinois

FEMA approved the state’s application on September 1. However, it is unclear when the qualified people will start receiving the payment. 

14. Indiana

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 21. The state’s Department of Workforce Development is planning to provide benefits to the eligible people within 4 to four weeks.

15. Iowa

Iowa applied to FEMA on August 13 and received its approval on August 14. However, it is unclear when the Iowa Workforce Development would provide the add-on benefit.

16. Kansas

FEMA approved Kansas’s application on September 7. However, it is unclear when the qualified people can expect to receive the payment.  

17. Kentucky

FEMA approved Kentucky’s application on August 21. The qualified Kentuckians can expect to receive the payment within 2 to 3 weeks. 

18. Louisiana

Though the state received FEMA’s approval on August 14, it is still unclear when the qualified will receive the add-on benefits.

19. Maine

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 25. The residents can expect to receive the payment in about 3 weeks. 

20. Maryland

FEMA approved Maryland’s application on August 20. The eligibles are expected to receive the add-on benefits in late September.  

21. Massachusetts

That State’s application was approved on August 21. But it is unclear when the qualified people in the state will receive additional benefits.

22. Michigan

FEMA approved Michigan’s application on August 21. However, the state agency has not yet notified when Michiganders can expect to collect the extra benefits.

23. Minnesota

Minnesota received FEMA’s approval on August 29. But it is unclear when the qualified people in the state can expect to receive benefits.

24. Mississippi

Though Mississippi received approval on August 22, the Mississippians will have to wait for approximately 3 to 4 weeks to collect add-on benefits. 

25. Missouri

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 16. But it is still unclear when the eligible people can expect to receive the benefits in the state. 

26. Montana

Montana’s application was approved on August 18. But the state’s Department of Labor and Industry has not yet been notified when the qualified people will receive additional benefits. 

27. New Hampshire

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 24. But it is unclear when the state agency will begin paying the additional benefits. 

28. New Mexico

FEMA approved New Mexico’s application on August 15. But it is unclear when benefits will become available to New Mexicans.  

29. New York

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 23. Though an estimated timing is not available, the state’s agency is working to provide extra benefits as quickly as possible.  

30. North Carolina

FEMA approved North Carolina’s application on August 21. But updates on a timeline for collecting benefits is not yet announced.

31. North Dakota

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 31. The residents can expect to receive payments by mid-September.

32. Ohio

FEMA approved Ohio’s application on August 26. The Department announced that Ohioans can expect to receive the benefit by mid-September.

33. Oklahoma

Oklahoma applied on August 17 and received approval on August 18. As per the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, the eligible Oklahomans can expect to receive benefits within 4 to 5 weeks.

34. Oregon

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 28. But it is unclear when the residents will start to receive benefits.

35. Pennsylvania 

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 24. But updates on a timeline for collecting benefits is not yet announced.

36. Rhode Island

The state received FEMA’s approval on August 22. The benefits will be available in the state after 2 to 3 weeks. 

37. Tennessee

Tennessee received FEMA’s approval on August 22. But it is unclear when the state’s agency will begin paying add-on benefits.

38. Texas

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 21. The Texas Workforce Commission has already started paying the qualified. The state has paid approximately $151.6 million as of Monday.

39. Utah

Though the state received FEMA’s approval on August 16, the residents have to wait for at least 3 to 4 weeks to collect add-on benefits.

40. Vermont

FEMA approved Vermont’s application on August 22. But the Vermont Department of Labor has not yet notified when the qualified people can expect to receive the benefit.

41. Virginia

FEMA approved the state’s application on August 26. However, it is unclear when the qualified people will start receiving the payment. 

42. Washington 

Washington received FEMA’s approval on August 24. The state’s agency has not yet notified when the qualified people can expect the payment.

43. West Virginia

The state received approval from FEMA on August 27. But it is unclear when the qualified people will start to receive benefits.

44. Wisconsin

Wisconsin received FEMA’s approval on September 1. The residents can expect to receive the add-on benefit within 8 weeks. 

45. Wyoming

The state received approval from FEMA on August 28. But it is unclear when the qualified people will start to receive benefits.

Note – South Dakota has opted not to participate in this new program. 

How Much Benefits Will Each State Provide?  

All approved states, except Kentucky and Montana, will pay $300 additional unemployment benefits. The states Kentucky and Montana have agreed to contribute the $100, thereby providing $400 extra benefits to the qualified. 

Who Qualifies For $300 Additional Unemployment Benefits?

To qualify for $300 additional unemployment benefits, one must receive at least $100 benefits per week through any of the following programs.

How Long Would a $300 Additional Unemployment Benefits Program Last?

Though the exact expiration date is unknown, the new order is expected to end when FEMA expends 444 billion from Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), or DRF’s total balance reduces to $25 billion.

Closing Thoughts 

Expiration of $600 weekly benefits had taken unemployed Americans by storm. But with the new order, people can receive extra amounts on top of their regular benefits and pay their medical, housing bills, etc. for a few weeks. To know more about the $300 additional unemployment benefits program, visit the state’s Department Of Labor website.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders that provide an additional $400 benefits to people who have lost their job due to the Coronavirus-induced economic shutdown. Qualified people are expected to receive the payment soon. However, it is unclear when the unemployed would receive $400 unemployment benefits in Texas.

In this article, we will tell you when the Texans can expect an additional $400 unemployment benefits and how to qualify for the payment. But before that, let’s quickly learn more about the extra unemployment benefits.

More about $400 Unemployment Benefits 

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Benefits that provided an additional $600 per week expired on July 31, and Congress has been unable to reach an agreement and extend the program.

Even since the expiration of the $600 unemployment benefits program, Americans struggle even harder to meet their basic needs. To help them, President Donald Trump signed an order that provides an extra $400 unemployment benefits per week. That is $200 less than what the Americans were previously receiving. 

Also, under the new program, the states are required to fund 25% of additional unemployment benefits. That is, the order requires states to pay $100 of the $400 unemployment benefits. But states like Texas are already struggling financially, and now the $100 portion has added more to it. 

On Monday, the Texas Workforce Commission said that “It is currently reviewing the presidential memoranda and will give additional details once it becomes available.”

So, When Will Texans Receive $400 Unemployment Benefits?

As per the order, the $400 unemployment benefits take effect on August 1. However, the payment would take weeks to reach the qualified. But this may not be the case in Texas. 

Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst and researcher at the National Employment Law Project (NELP), stated that the program is harder to implement, and the state would take months to implement the program finally.  

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), on the other hand, stated that it is seeking guidance from the Department of Labor (DOL) on how to interpret the program and proceed with its implementation.

Who Qualifies For $400 Unemployment Benefits In Texas?

To receive additional unemployment benefits in Texas, you should meet certain eligibility criteria. Some of them include:

  • One should qualify for regular unemployment benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program or any other federal unemployment program
  • One should receive at least $100 regular unemployment benefits per week

In Texas, Unemployment Insurance benefits range from $69 to $521 per week. Anyone falling below the $100 threshold cannot qualify for $400 unemployment benefits. 

Since Texas unemployment benefits fluctuate from one week to another, the Texas Workforce Commission will verify if the applicants are eligible to receive the extra $300 or $400 benefits each week. When the program begins, the payment will be sent to claimants from the week that ended August 1, which is the week that immediately follows the expiration of the $600 program.

How Much Benefits Will Texans Receive Under The New Program?

Under the new program, eligible Texans will either receive regular/traditional unemployment benefits plus $300 if the state does not provide $100, or $400 if the state decides to contribute its portion. 

For instance, if an individual receives $250 under regular unemployment benefits, he or she can receive $250+$300 or $250+$400 depending on the participation of the state in the program. 

How long Will The $400 Unemployment Benefits Payment Last? 

How long the new unemployment benefits program lasts depends on how high the unemployment rate remains. Under the executive order, the qualified Americans can collect $400 weekly unemployment benefits until the total balance of the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) of the Department of Homeland Security falls to $25 billion or FEMA expends $44 billion from DRF. 

Are $400 Unemployment Benefits Taxable?

The answer is yes! The additional unemployment benefits are considered a taxable income and are subject to federal and state income taxes. 

What To Do If One Doesn’t Qualify For $400 Unemployment Benefits?

Texans can opt for alternative programs if they do not qualify for the additional unemployment benefits program. Some of them include:

Work Search Help From Workforce Solutions Office

Although the Workforce Solutions office doesn’t provide financial help, unlike the $400 program, it can help you with your job search and provide training opportunities. The Workforce Solutions office provides several services at zero cost. Some of them include:

  • Job search help
  • Information about job fairs
  • Latest details about the local labor market
  • Information on job training programs
  • Use of fax machines and computers 
  • Details on child care assistance or transportation 
  • Seminars to assist the needy to maximize the work search efforts
  • Assistance in creating a resume and improve the job interview skills

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamp program is a federally funded program. It provides food assistance to families with no or little income. The program allows the qualified to buy nutritious food using Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. 

You can use this benefit program to buy fruits, vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages, bread, cereals, etc. To apply for SNAP, visit https://yourtexasbenefits.hhsc.texas.gov/apply/how-to-apply

Final Words

The Texas Workforce Commission is trying its best to provide additional unemployment benefits to the needy on time. It is even considering setting up a separate, new program to direct the payment to qualified unemployed since this relief measure isn’t considered as an unemployment benefit, but a FEMA relief program.

The federal government offers several programs to low-income households to help them support their livelihood. One such presentation is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The LIHEAP helps qualified low-income families pay their heating and cooling energy costs (gas or electric utilities). But who qualifies for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program? 

In this article, we will guide you through the eligibility criteria for LIHEAP. But before that, let us have a detailed look at the aspects of the program. 

More About The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program has two provisions: Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) and Energy Assistance/Regular Heating (EA).

The Energy Assistance provides one-time payment assistance for paying the heating bills from November through March. The Energy Crisis Intervention Program, on the other hand, pays fuel bills when the energy is threatened to shut off, or is shut off. 

The payment received will be based on the amount of money required to resolve the issue with the energy provider. The payment under ECIP is available during:

  1. Summer ECIP – This is available from June to September. The maximum amount paid under this program is $600. 
  2. Winter ECIP – This is available November to May. The maximum amount paid under this program is $800. 

LIHEAP mainly helps families who spend a major portion of their income on energy bills. 

Eligibility Criteria 

Eligibility requirements for the LIHEAP are based on household size, income, resources available, and responsibility for paying home energy costs. Some of the other requirements include:

  1. Should be a citizen of the U.S. or are legally admitted permanent U.S. resident
  2. Should be responsible for paying home cooling and heating costs
  3. The savings must not be more than $3,000 in retirement accounts, bank accounts, or other investments
  4. You or your family member must participate in any of the following programs:
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Needs-Tested Veterans Benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Note that the eligibility requirements may vary from one state to another. 

How to Apply For The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program?

You may apply for LIHEAP online through your local provider’s website. Make sure you are applying through the appropriate agency for the country in which you are residing. Check if there is an online application so that you can complete and submit it through the mail without requiring to visit the office in-person. For information about local providers, you can visit https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/liheap-state-and-territory-contact-listing. If you need some help with the application, you call toll-free number 1-866-674-6327. 

Note –

  1. Due to the surge in the number of applications and queries, many times, the numbers of local agencies may remain busy. Be patient, and keep trying to reach them.
  2. Many local agencies receive calls only during specific operating hours. Therefore, make sure you call only those hours to avoid waiting to be answered. 
  3. Local agencies receive applications, verify your eligibility, and directly make payments to energy firms on your behalf.
  4. Some LIHEAP local agencies require an appointment to assist with the application process. In such cases, you are required to schedule an appointment with the agency.

Required Documentation To Apply For LIHEAP

You are required to provide several documents while applying for LIHEAP. They include:

  • Recent home energy bill
  • Paychecks or other documents that show your gross income
  • Utility termination notice
  • Proof of citizenship or permanent residence
  • Social security card
  • Photo identification (including your household members)

Can You Appeal If Assistance Is Denied?

If your assistance is denied, you can file a LIHEAP appeal. To appeal, contact your local LIHEAP agency provider or your state’s Department of Community Services if any. 

Closing Thoughts

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can help you save huge amounts of money spent on paying gas or electric utility bills. If you qualify for this program but haven’t filed yet, then quickly apply as approvals for each month are limited. 

 

 

 

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), formerly known as the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program, is a federal program that provides free food assistance to low-income families. The program was established in 1983 and is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) at the federal level. The program aims at reducing hunger.

Here, let’s have a detailed look at the Emergency Food Assistance Program.

More about The Emergency Food Assistance Program

Through the Emergency Food Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchases and makes nutritious and high-quality, USDA food available to state distributing agencies.

The amount of food the states receive will be based on the number of people with income below the state-defined poverty level and the number of unemployed persons. States will then distribute the food to agencies such as food banks. In turn, these entities will distribute the food to food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other local agencies that provide food directly to those in need. 

The USDA foods can be used for household consumption as well as to serve meals in a congregate setting. TEFAP also provides states with funds to support the storage and distribution of USDA foods.

Who Qualifies For TEFAP?

Nonprofit private and public entities that distribute food for preparing meals to be served at congregate settings or household consumption can receive commodities under TEFAP. 

Households may also be eligible for TEFAP food but only for home consumption. To receive the food, they must meet certain eligibility requirements, as mentioned below.

1. Total income of the household must be below or at 130% of the poverty level for the number of people living in the family

2. The household should qualify for any of the below-listed programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Aid to Needy Disabled (AND)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Medicaid Eligible Foster Children

Note – The “income” above refers to your gross income before any expenses, deductions, etc. The gross income includes wages, salaries, unemployment compensation, Social Security, pensions, public assistance or welfare payments, etc. 

Recipients participating in a soup kitchen are not subjected to any test as it is assumed that those seeking a meal are needy.

Income Requirements 

Households should also meet income guidelines. The requirements may, however, vary from one state to another. For instance, the income eligibility in Michigan is as below.

Family Size Weekly  Monthly  Annual 
1 $490 $2,126  $25,520
2 $663 $2,873 $34,480
3 $835 $3,620 $43,440
4 $1,007 $4,366 $52,400
5 $1,180 $5,113  $61,360
6 $1,352 $5,860 $70,320
7 $1,524 $6,606 $79,280
8 $1,696 $7,353 $88,240
For each additional member add $172 $746 $8,960

In states like New York, anyone can qualify for TEFAP regardless of immigration status, income, etc. 

How To Apply For TEFAP? 

To apply for TEFAP, contact the state distribution agency in your state. You can find information about the agencies at https://www.fns.usda.gov/contacts?f%5B0%5D=program%3A27.

Note – When you collect the food, you are required to submit documents like a utility bill.

What Types Of Food Are Available?

Under TEFAP program, you can receive various types of food such as fruits, canned vegetables, pasta, beans, nonfat dry milk, rice, egg, and grain products. It may also include peanut butter, meat, and tuna. Usually, you can collect food any number of times, but the guidelines may vary with state. 

TEFAP Program During COVID-19

To make sure that more families have access to healthy food during the pandemic, states like Wisconsin increased the income limit to collect food through TEFAP program. In states like Pennsylvania, the unemployed, service workers, and hourly wages, employees can receive food from local food banks or food pantries.  

Final Words 

The Emergency Food Assistance Program provides nutritious USDA food to the needy and ensures they live a healthy life. The program does not discriminate based on color, race, gender, age, or disability. However, if you have been denied food due to the listed factors, you can write a letter to the USDA.  

 

https://fileunemployment.org