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FEMA approves additional payments for Mississippi’s unemployed



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Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Pete Gaynor approved Mississippi for a FEMA grant under the Lost Wages Assistance program Saturday.

The funding will allow Mississippi to provide $300 per week — on top of its regular unemployment benefit — to those unemployed due to COVID-19. FEMA will work with Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves to implement a system to make this funding available to Mississippi residents.

On Aug. 8, President Donald Trump made available up to $44 billion from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to Americans who have lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saturday, the state of Mississippi agreed to administer a lost wages program for its citizens who are unemployed due to COVID-19.

States may provide claimants a lost wages supplement of up to $400, composed of a $300 federal contribution from the Disaster Relief Fund and an additional amount up to $100 from state funds. Alternatively, states may provide claimants the lost wages supplement of $300 paid entirely from the $300 federal contribution and satisfy the match, with no additional state payout, by leveraging existing state funding used to pay regular state unemployment benefits. Mississippi has chosen the alternative method for payments.

The period of assistance is Aug. 1 to Dec. 27, 2020, or termination of the program, whichever is sooner. Mississippi has not provided a time line on when the additional funds will be made available to unemployed people.

Find out more about the program on the FEMA website.

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