Montana Plan to Provide $400 Unemployment Payments Approved

FEMA grant will cover $300 of the new weekly payments

By Associated Press

HELENA — Federal regulators have approved Montana’s plan to provide an additional $400 per week in assistance to people receiving unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 related impacts, the Department of Labor and Industry said Wednesday.

A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Administration will cover $300 of the new weekly payments. The other $100 will come from Montana’s coronavirus relief funding, the department said.

The Lost Wage Assistance Payments were established after a program that provided an additional $600 weekly payment expired in late July. President Donald Trump signed an executive order suggesting a $400 payment, with states paying 25%. Later, federal officials said the states could meet that $100 requirement with the first $100 of their typical weekly payments.

With the new grant and the coronavirus relief funding, Montana’s weekly unemployment payments will range from about $560 to $950.

Half of the states have applied for or say they plan to apply for the FEMA grants. Montana is the only state so far that reports it is adding the extra $100, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

The first week that the additional payments are available is the week ending Aug. 1. state officials said.

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