- FEMA last month approved a $300 increase in weekly unemployment benefits.
- 47 states thus far have applied for and been approved to send out the bonus payments.
- While some states have already started making the increased payments, other states won’t begin making payments until next month.
While the unemployment rate in the U.S. has fallen substantially in recent months, it’s still markedly higher than it was during pre-corona times. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the U.S. last month was about 8.4%. As a point of contrast, the unemployment rate during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic was close to 16%. Before the pandemic struck, however, the unemployment rate was somewhere in the range of 3%.
With millions of Americans still out of work and struggling to make ends meet, FEMA last month approved a $300 increase in weekly unemployment benefits. Individual states need to apply for the benefits, which is to say that if you’re in a state that hasn’t applied, you’re out of luck. To date, 47 states have applied for and been approved for the $300 increase.
The timeline for when people will start seeing an additional $300 in their unemployment check varies by state. While some states started the increased payouts in late August, other states have indicated that they won’t begin the increased payouts until mid-October. In light of that, some states — like Illinois and Hawaii, for example — have issued $300 bonus payments in the interim.
As it stands now, the $300 bump in weekly unemployment benefits will last for three weeks. After a three week period, FEMA will look at each state individually and determine if more funding is warranted. In short, some states might see the payment period extended while others may not. In essence, you can look at the unemployment increase as a lump sum $900 payment that might increase later on down the line.
The list below highlights when individuals — on a state by state basis — can expect to see the $300 increase in unemployment benefits.
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