Residents collecting unemployment in Maryland as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis will get larger checks soon.
Maryland applied for and was approved Thursday to receive a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
An executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Aug. 8 allows FEMA to spend up to $44 billion from its Disaster Relief Fund to provide lost wages assistance to states.
It gives an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits to residents who lost wages because of the pandemic, on top of a regular $100 payment from the state.
Only those who are eligible for more than $100 per week in state benefits will be eligible for the $300 federal payment.
In Maryland, the bigger payments are expected to start going out late next month and will be retroactive to the week that ended Aug. 1.
“We sincerely appreciate FEMA’s quick approval of our application so that we can provide additional relief to struggling Marylanders,” said Gov. Larry Hogan.
“Our labor team will now work with the federal administration to implement this new program so that we can distribute these benefits. It is important to recognize that this is only a stopgap, and we continue to urge Congress to come together and approve federal aid for the states to help support our economic recovery.”
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said this week that the commonwealth is preparing to pay the extra benefit, too.
Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah have also been approved for grants.
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