Kansas to receive $63 million in FEMA unemployment funds

Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 3:20 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly on Tuesday announced an award of $63 million to help Kansans who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds come through FEMA’s Lost Wages Assistance program (LWA).

“I appreciate the Federal Emergency Management Agency for its quick response to my administration’s application, and for making these funds available to those who need them throughout our state and nation,” Governor Laura Kelly said in a news release announcing the federal assistance.“We will work to distribute these dollars as quickly and efficiently as possible to keep Kansas families in their homes and food on their tables.  However, it is still critically important for Congress to create a coherent strategy and act on a long-term solution for those who have found themselves unable to work due to the pandemic’s impact on our economy.”

Kelly’s office explained the LWA is limited in scope and will only be available to those receiving at least $100 in unemployment benefits. The Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) estimates that claimants won’t begin receiving benefits any sooner than late September.

Unlike the $600 per week Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program that expired in July, claimants the latest round of federal benefits needs to certify that their unemployment or partial unemployment is due to disruptions caused by COVID1-9.

“For those who are eligible, payments will be retroactive for the week ending Aug. 1, and will remain in effect until FEMA terminates the program,” Kelly’s office explained.

Since March 15, Kelly’s office said KDOL has paid out more than two million weekly claims totaling more than $1.8 billion between regular unemployment and the federal pandemic programs. For more information on available benefits for unemployed a Kansans or to apply for benefits, visit here: Get

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