Congressional leaders have passed a circa $900 billion stimulus plan that includes funding for an approximately 11 week extension (Dec 26th 2020 to March 14th 2021) to federal pandemic programs (PUA, PEUC) and additional supplementary unemployment benefits at $300 FPUC per week for millions of unemployed or underemployed Americans who lost their job or income due to COVID. Like the original $600 FPUC program (in effect till July 31st 2020) the new $300 FPUC payment only has a $1 minimum threshold, which is different to the $100 for the LWA program. You can see more details and rules in this article on the new 2021 unemployment benefit extensions.
[Updated with State Roll-out schedule] With Congress unable to reach an agreement on a new stimulus bill which was supposed to include an extension of funding for the FPUC benefit (which was $600 p/week until July 2020), it looks like Trumps executive order to extend the extra weekly unemployment benefit may actually end up coming into effect. Based on recent Department of Labor and FEMA guidelines, Trump’s executive order will be enacted through the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program using FEMA funding under their existing Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). This extends the supplementary weekly unemployment payment until the end of the year (or until funding runs out) and will range between $300 and $400, depending on how much states can fund of their portion (up to 25%) of the extra weekly unemployment payment.
$300 will be the base/minimum amount since this will be covered by federal FEMA disaster relief funding per Trump’s order, but states will have to make up the remaining $100 from their state unemployment fund and/or federal emergency funding they got under the CARES act. However for many states, there may not be much left in these buckets so could mean that they don’t provide any additional funding which will result in only a $300 payment to eligible recipients. This is half of what eligible claimants were getting prior to August 2020 when the $600 CARES FPUC payment was in effect.
The $300 is a big cut no doubt, but for the average person along with regular state unemployment this would replace 70% to 80% of their income. With Congress unable to reach a compromise, this will likely be the only near term option to help the 30 million+ people claiming unemployment benefits.
$100 weekly unemployment threshold requirement
Another potential issue for those who qualified for the extra FPUC benefit under Trumps new executive order is that recipients must be receiving at least $100 in current unemployment benefits (e.g. under state UI, PUA or PEUC programs) in order to qualify for the extra $400 federal boost. This could leave out many low wage earners pr part-time workers who qualified for a minimal amount of UI benefits (since the past year’s wage base is used to determine qualification). The justification for the $100 minimum threshold was to prevent fraud from the earlier programs which required only $1 of minimum unemployment.
The payment will be retroactive to August 1st, so even though most states will roll-out the LWA program in late August, they will make back payments for eligible weeks. See the table below for how states are tracking on rolling out the LWA program and when payments will start, assuming they sign-up.
Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) State Payment Date and Status
|State||LWA Status||Start Date||Max Weeks||Weekly Amount|
(see estimate details)
|Arkansas||Paid||Sep 12 (up to Oct 2nd)||6||$300|
|California||Paid||Sep 7th (Phase 1)|
Sep 15th (Phase 2)
|Colorado||Paid||From Sep 18th|
|District of Columbia||Paid||From Sep 28th |
|Hawaii||Paid||Sep 23rd |
|Indiana||Paid||Week of Sep 21st||6||$300|
|Kansas||Paid||From Oct 6th |
|Maryland||Paid||Sep 12th (schedule)||6||$300|
|Nebraska||Paid||Sep 18th (First 3 weeks)|
From Sep 20th (remaining payments)
|Nevada||Paying 5th and 6th weeks||From Oct 20th (First 3 weeks)|
From Nov 11 (Last 3 weeks)
(see DETR updates)
|New Hampshire||Paid||Sep 12th||6||$300|
|New Jersey||Paid||From Oct 22nd|
(see more details)
|New Mexico||Paid||Sep 10th||6||$300|
|New York||Paid||Sep 14th||6||$300|
|North Carolina||Paid||Sep 6th (4 weeks)|
Sep 16th (2 weeks)
|North Dakota||Paid||Sep 17th||6||$300|
|Ohio||Paid||From Sep 14th (on PUA)|
From Sep 20th (others)
|Pennsylvania||Paid||Sep 17th (first 3 wk batch)|
Sep 24th (second 3wk batch)
|Rhode Island||Paid||Sep 6th||6||$300|
|South Carolina||Paid||Sep 25th |
(7 to 14 days processing)
|South Dakota||No Payment||Did not enroll||6||-|
|Utah||Paid||Sep 9th to Sep 23rd|
(paying in batches)
|Vermont||Paid||Week of Sep 14th||6||$300|
(see payout details)
|West Virginia||Paid||Sep 16th||6||$400
|Wisconsin||Paid||From Oct 22nd||6||$300|
Payment Start date is when the state actually started processing LWA payments OR is the estimated date of the first payment processing based on available information. Note: Due to bank processing delays, it can take 2 to 4 days after the noted dates for benefits to hit your bank account or debit card. Please see links to more information in the table or your state UI website for specific payment status. If you find any mistakes or have updates, please leave a comment below and I will update table to help others.
Check back for updates on when this payment will start or subscribe via email to get them delivered directly to you. For additional unemployment resources and specific state based information see the UI reource page.