If you have lost your job due to COVID-19 and hoping to receive further unemployment benefits from President Trump’s executive order, you may be ineligible to receive them based on which state you live in. While 11 states have been approved, and more are applying for further aid, some states have decided to fend for themselves.
To date, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah have all been approved to receive further unemployment aid. The $44 billion in aid will be directed to unemployed workers.
The executive order is not without controversy, though, as funding the full $400 weekly benefit would partially fall on each state. Some 75% of the benefit will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), while states are responsible for shouldering the remaining 25% in order for unemployed workers to get the full $400. If states decline to offer a match, the total reward will be reduced to $300.
Some states are able to provide this benefit, while others, such as California, say they are unable to because of major deficits. Because of the financial obligation of the memorandum, each state must apply for the aid. This has led to some states bypassing the aid altogether.
Here are the states that have either outright declined or explicitly stated they aren’t interested in enhanced unemployment assistance from the federal government.
South Dakota was the first state to explicitly decline the assistance from the federal government. Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) announced the decision in an Aug. 14 press release.
“My administration is very grateful for the additional flexibility that this effort would have provided, but South Dakota is in the fortunate position of not needing to accept it. South Dakota is the only state in the nation that didn’t have extended benefits kick in because our insured unemployment rate has been the lowest in the nation.”
If you are a South Dakota resident and need assistance with unemployment benefits, please visit the South Dakota Unemployment website.
Residents of the Empire State will not be eligible to receive the extended unemployment benefits as Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) confirmed he will not apply for the aid.
“You cannot get water out of a stone, that is a fact and we have a $14 billion deficit, and we can’t pay for it,” Cuomo said in an interview with WHEC-TV on Wednesday.
He also expressed his disdain for FEMA, stating that “I'd rather do business with the old time bookie on the street corner than do business with FEMA”.
If you are a New York resident and need assistance with unemployment benefits, please visit the New York Unemployment website.
The Oregon state government has been reserved since Trump signed the memorandum. David Gerstenfeld, interim head of the Oregon Employment Department, explained his skepticism of the program.
“There are still a huge number of uncertainties about the program that was discussed in that executive order,” he said in a media call on Aug. 12. Since this call, little has been said of their status.
If you are an Oregon resident and need assistance with unemployment benefits, please visit the Oregon Unemployment website.
For the states that have not applied, grant applications and completed administrative plans must be received by September 10, 2020. Each state will have a different timeline for dispersing funds based on their ability to adjust their unemployment insurance system, but the average time to start sending out benefits once approved by FEMA is three weeks.
These additional unemployment benefits will last until one of the following criteria are met:
1) FEMA expends $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF); or
2) The total unobligated balance of the DRF falls to $25 billion; or
3) Legislation is passed that provides, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, supplemental federal
unemployment compensation or similar compensation for unemployed or partially-employed individuals; or
4) December 27, 2020, the end of the federal grant.
Read more from Forbes
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