In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many unemployed workers received $600 a week in unemployment through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This act, however, expired on July 31, 2020, and Senate Leader Mitch McConnel has refused to consider the House HEROS Act that would have extended unemployment payments.
Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program
In early August, the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) was given permission to spend $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund to help unemployed workers.
Workers may receive $300 a week from August 1, 2020, for as long as funds last or December 27, 2020, whichever comes first. For most states, these funds have run out.
If the state chose, it could add an additional $100 out of their state budgets. Only Kentucky, Montana, and West Virginia chose this route.
There were several barriers to receiving LWA funds. States had to apply by September 10, 2020. All but one state, South Dakota, applied. The governor, Kristi Noem (R), claimed that the 22,000 unemployed residents did not need help.
The state had to have a FEMA approved self-certification process to certify that joblessness is a result of COVID-19. Only a few of the states, New Jersey in specific, do not have a clearly defined application process.
As of October 26, 2020, all the states but Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, New Jersey, Virginia, and Wisconsin have exhausted funding.
Where Does Your State Stand?
|State||Exhausted 10/26/20||Misc Details|
|Alaska||Attached to unemployment checks|
|Arkansas||Will send letters to eligible people|
|Kansas||Must self-certify though department of unemployment|
|New Jersey||no clear guidelines and recommends people visit Department of Labor and Workforce Development|
|South Dakota||The governor refused to apply as state is “doing fine.”|
|Virginia||Must self-certify through department of unemployment|
|Wisconsin||Attached to unemployment checks|
Obviously, depending on LWA money to tide you over is not a sound plan. There are other options that may be of assistance to you.
If you have always dreamed of starting a business, check out the Self Employment Assistance program (SEA). As you start your business, you may receive a weekly allowance instead of unemployment benefits.
Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX) provides compensation for military personnel who are transitioning to civilian life.
SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has improved the application process so that food-insecure families have better access to food.
Ask your creditors for relief. You can read more about credit card relief here. Forbearance is a possibility and asking costs you nothing but time.
Pacific Debt, Inc
If you can see no way out of your debt, you may need professional help and the experts at Pacific Debt, Inc are willing to discuss your unique situation with you and help you understand your options.