Program for extra $300 payments for Marylanders left unemployed during pandemic starts Friday

A program to help Maryland residents left unemployed because of the coronavirus crisis starts Friday.

The Lost Wages Assistance program is launching ahead of schedule after Maryland applied for and was approved to receive a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in August.

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.

There will be a total of six weeks of $300 payments.

The federal benefits are retroactive to the weeks ending Aug. 1 through Sept. 5.

Residents will be notified through the state’s BEACON portal and by email.

An FAQ for the program is available online.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.

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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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