FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear announced Friday that the state’s application to bring in additional federal money to aid unemployed Kentuckians has been accepted.
“COVID-19 has caused the loss of millions of jobs across the nation, and unfortunately Kentucky is no exception,” the governor said. “I am committed to fighting for every dollar to help our people survive this global pandemic and our workforce return to full strength.”
The governor said Kentucky is the first state in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 4 to be approved through the agency’s Lost Wages Program to give $400 to unemployment insurance claimants.
“This program will allow about 80,000 Kentuckians receiving at least $100 a week unemployment benefits for the weeks of July 26-Aug. 15 to receive an additional payment of $400, if they are unemployed or partially unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Beshear said. “The $400 will apply to all programs: traditional UI, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and the extended benefits programs.”
The governor noted the federal government originally provided an additional $600 to those facing job loss. That program ended without a replacement by the U.S. Congress. Then on Aug. 8, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum seeking to extend some additional benefits to Americans whose jobs have been harmed or eliminated by the global pandemic.
Beshear noted that most of the states approved for the program – including Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah – have chosen to fund the program solely with federal dollars, meaning recipients will receive $300.
“We have decided to provide an extra $100 using CARES Act money. Kentucky’s portion will be approximately $8 million per week, for a total of $24 million over the three-week initial grant period,” Beshear said.
While the application is approved, reconfiguring the computer systems to pay the $400 is likely to take about two weeks. Therefore, benefits recipients should not expect the payments until sometime in early September.