The Center Square [By Vivian Jones] –
A federal $300 weekly unemployment benefit will cease after the week ending Sept. 5, the Federal Emergency Management Agency informed Tennessee’s Department of Labor & Workforce Development on Friday.
Beginning this week, unemployment benefits will include only the benefit amount available through regular state or federal unemployment programs.
The federal Lost Wages Assistance Program was funded by a finite sum of $44 billion allocated for the new unemployment benefit by President Trump last month. Because the funding is depleted, the program will end.
To be eligible for the benefit, a claimant had to be out of work because of COVID-19, be eligible for at least $100 per week in unemployment benefits and certify with the department.
Eligible claimants in Tennessee will receive the additional $300 payments for the weeks of Aug. 1 through Sept. 5. FEMA approves funding on a week-by-week basis, after the state applies for funding for eligible claimants. Tennessee has applied for funding for payments through the week of Aug. 29, and payments for the remaining weeks will continue to have a lag time.
Claimants who were eligible for the benefit during the first three weeks of August already received a retroactive payment for the weeks they were eligible.
Last week, 12,035 Tennesseans filed new unemployment claims. The department continued to process nearly 185,000 ongoing claims.