Kansans must wait until end of September for $400 federal unemployment aid, could only last a few weeks

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas is asking for more money to help out unemployed people in the state. Next week the state will apply for 400 dollars a week in federal funding to be added to what people are receiving from regular unemployment insurance.

Last month, 600 dollars a week in federal unemployment benefits ran out. President Trump announced a way that states could make that up, called Lost Wages Assistance.

The money is split between 300 dollars from the disaster relief fund distributed by FEMA, and 100 dollars will come from previous CARES Act funding that the state was given to spend on anything coronavirus related.

Out-of-work Kansans shouldn’t expect to see that money until the end of September though. Acting Labor Secretary Ryan Wright has said FEMA recently told the department that Kansas should expect only three weeks of dedicated funding, but that could change.

“It will all depend on how many states take advantage of it, I don’t want to put a dollar amount on things now because we’ll know more once we hear back from FEMA, once our application is approved,” Wright said.

So Wright is calling on federal officials to provide a long-term plan so that hundreds of dollars people are counting on isn’t up in the air.

“We need Congress to get back from vacation and solve this problem in a permanent fashion,” Wright said. “This has always been designed as a stopgap measure, so this is not the magic bullet, this is just one more tool that we can utilize to help folks pay their bills.”

The money will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. With more and more states applying, and because the money is coming from the disaster relief fund, Hurricane Laura could impact how much money can actually go to people out of work.

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