Seven states have received approval for President Donald Trump’s offer of a $300 weekly benefit for unemployed workers, and others are considering it after clarification that states don’t have to pay an additional $100.
The states are Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Idaho, Kentucky and Oklahoma are among states also planning to apply for the FEMA program, called Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance.
An Associated Press survey found that as of Monday, 18 states said they were interested in taking the deal, while 30 states have said they’re still evaluating the offer or made no announcement.
The payments, a partial replacement for a $600 weekly federal payment that expired at the end of July, could start by the end of August, FEMA announced.
Many states had announced they could not accept the offer because in their cash-strapped condition they could not afford another weekly $100 per worker. When Trump announced the plan Aug. 8, he said states could participate if they chipped in another $100 a week.
But the Department of Labor later clarified that the $100 could be unemployment benefits the state is already paying.
South Dakota Gov. Krisi Noem, a Republican, turned down the grants. She said in a statement that her state is “in the fortunate position of not needing to accept it” since the state never shut down its economy and has recovered 80% of jobs lost in the pandemic.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, said in a statement that the state’s 40-year-old computer system will make it difficult to implement the program, but benefits would be retroactive to Aug. 1 when the $600 payment expired.