FEMA approves NC DES plan to give additional $300 weekly to unemployed workers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the North Carolina Division of Employment Security's plan to give an additional $300 per week to eligible unemployed North Carolinians, according to a news release from the state agency sent Friday.

DES said it has been working to reprogram its benefits system to allow for the payments to go out to unemployed or partially unemployed North Carolinians who are eligible for at least $100 per week in unemployment benefits after losing their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DES said the current grant will provide them with enough to pay eligible residents for the first three weeks of August. The state agency added that FEMA said it will assess the availability of funds for additional weeks of benefits, and the letter from FEMA said the benefit will extend through December 2020.

RELATED: North Carolinians still waiting on benefits months after filing claims with DES

The additional $300 weekly benefit, known as the Lost Wages Assistance Program, was created as part of an executive order from President Donald Trump earlier this month. In his order, Trump called for states to provide $400 to unemployed individuals weekly, but mandated that 25 percent of that cash come from state and not federal funds.

Gov. Roy Cooper said during a news conference Wednesday that he wanted North Carolinians to be able to receive as much funding as possible, but he hoped that Congress and President Trump could bring back the $600 in weekly unemployment aid that expired at the end of July.

"We want to get the most unemployment benefits to help people as quickly as we possibly can," Cooper said during a news conference Wednesday.

DES said the agency is working on a timeline for when the funds will be available.

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