• FEMA recently approved a $300 increase in weekly unemployment benefits due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Individuals in about 41 states are eligible to take advantage of the program.
  • While some states already started paying out the increase, most won’t begin until mid to late September.

It may be years before we can fully grasp the impact the coronavirus has had on the U.S. economy. What we know now, though, is that the coronavirus caused an estimated 100,000 businesses to close up shop for good. On top of that, the coronavirus left millions of Americans out of work. And while some folks may eventually return to their positions, there are countless jobs that are simply not coming back.

Not surprisingly, the coronavirus was responsible for the highest level of unemployment in U.S. history. Whereas the number of unemployed Americans before COVID-19 was somewhere in the 6 million range, that figure more than tripled and jumped up to around 20-21 million by May. Pew Research notes that the unemployment rate at the peak of the coronavirus could have reached as high as 16%. As a point of contrast, the unemployment rate back in February of 2020 was 3.8%.

With the economy reeling, President Trump a few months ago signed a $2 trillion stimulus package that included a $600 weekly bump in unemployment benefits. That weekly increase, however, ended at the end of July. As a result, there are still millions of Americans who can’t find work and are struggling to make ends meet.

With that said, FEMA not too long ago approved a $300 increase in unemployment benefits. The rub is that the increase is only available for individuals in states who apply for it. To date, more than 40 states have applied for and been approved for the increase. Some states, like South Dakota, have said that they have no plans to apply for the increase.

States that have been approved for the increase include the following:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington state, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

As to when individuals in the aforementioned states can expect to receive the increased payout, Forbes compiled a convenient list:

Alabama – payment already started

Alaska – late October

Arizona – payment already started

Arkansas – release date hasn’t been set yet

California – payment started on September 7

Colorado – mid-September

Connecticut – mid-September

Delaware – date hasn’t been set

Florida – payment starts on September 11

Georgia – mid-September

Hawaii – a bonus payment will be sent out, but no date has been set for the weekly $300 increase

Idaho – payment already started

Illinois – a bonus payment of $300 was sent out, but a date for weekly payouts hasn’t been set yet.

Indiana – mid to late September

Iowa – payment started in early September

Kansas – late September at the earliest

Kentucky – September

Louisiana – payments started in August

Maine – mid to late September

Maryland – late September

Massachusetts – payments already started

Michigan – payments already started

Minnesota – payments began in early September

Mississippi – mid to late September

Missouri – payment began in late August

Montana – payment began in August

New Hampshire – payment already started 

New Jersey – October

New Mexico – mid-September

New York – date not set yet

North Carolina – payment already started

North Dakota – mid-September

Ohio – mid to late September

Oklahoma – mid to late September

Oregon – date not set yet

Pennsylvania – mid-September

Rhode Island – September 12

South Carolina – mid to late September

Tennessee – payment already started

Texas payment already started

Utah – mid-September

Vermont – mid-September

Virginia – September 30

Washington – late September

West Virginia – no date set yet

Wisconsin – November

Wyoming – no date set yet

The additional $300 in unemployment payouts (which is $400 in a handful of states) should last for a minimum of three weeks, after which FEMA will re-evaluate if states still need additional funding.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.