Kansas to Receive $63 Million in FEMA Unemployment Funds

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Governor Laura Kelly announced her administration’s grant application for FEMA’s Lost Wages Assistance program (LWA) received federal approval and an award of $63 million to assist Kansans who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike the $600 a week Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program that expired in July, a claimant must self-certify her or his unemployment or partial unemployment is due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

“We will work to distribute these dollars as quickly and efficiently as possible to keep Kansas families,” Kelly said.

“A claimant must self-certify her or his unemployment or partial unemployment is due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.”

Due to federal restrictions, the program is limited in scope and will only be available to those who are receiving at least $100 in unemployment benefits.

For those who are eligible, payments will be retroactive to the week ending Aug. 1 and will remain in effect until FEMA terminates the program.

“This program is not a permanent solution, and during these difficult times, we implore Congress to come together and act to fund permanent unemployment solutions for all individuals and families in need across the country,” Acting Secretary of Labor Ryan Wright said.

Governor Kelly proposed the $400 option for LWA as a way to get additional money into the hands of unemployed Kansans.

On Sept. 3, legislative leaders on the State Finance Council (SFC) rejected the proposal.

Kelly then ordered the Kansas Department of Labor to apply for the $300 option.

Now that everything has been approved, unemployed Kansans who meet all the requirements for the LWA will receive an additional $300 in addition to their weekly unemployment payments.

Since March 15, the state has paid out more than two million weekly claims totaling over $1.8 billion between regular unemployment and the federal pandemic programs. 

For more information, or to apply for unemployment benefits, go to www.GetKansasBenefits.gov.

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