Conn. (WTNH) — The office of Governor Ned Lamont announced three new programs to help people struggling with COVID-19-related finance issues. The new funding includes unemployment benefits, safe shelter reimbursement benefits, and food benefits.
LOST WAGES ASSISTANCE
The state Department of Labor announced Wednesday the state “has been approved for an additional two weeks of Lost Wages Assistance supplemental benefits.”
The CTDOL says the supplemental benefits will provide an additional $300/week for any claimant who “has a weekly benefit of at least $100 (including the dependency allowance) and who has become unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19.”
“This program will be a significant help to a lot of Connecticut residents who need assistance,” CT DOL Commissioner Kurt Westby said. “With five weeks of benefits available, Lost Wages Assistance can take some financial pressure off claimants, but it is only a temporary program and expires when the FEMA funding is exhausted. I join Governor [Ned] Lamont and our Congressional delegation in urging a more permanent solution for the workforce, which is still reeling from COVID-19.”
The state says existing claimants for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have already ‘self-certified’ and don’t need to do anything to receive this additional benefit.
The state explains how the additional supplement will work: “A total of five weeks of Lost Wages Assistance will be paid in addition to regular unemployment weekly benefits and will be retroactive to the claim week beginning July 26, 2020. It will also be available for claim weeks beginning August 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2020. Claimants will receive the supplemental benefit in several payments; the first payment of $300 will be issued mid-September, with the remainder of retroactive payments following in two or three separate payments.”
For more information on how to self-certify, find out if you qualify, and how to take advantage of the new benefit, log into your State of CT unemployment account.
SAFE SHELTER REIMBURSEMENT
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a 30-day extension of the “non-congregate sheltering authorization under the FEMA Public Assistance program” through Oct. 1, 2020.
The program was initially approved back in March and provides non-congregate housing to high-risk residents, including those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those who have been in contact with those who have tested positive.
This program provides the state and it’s municipalities “with a 75% reimbursement of all eligible costs associated with this housing.”
The program covers non-congregate housing for:
- Those at high risk of exposure in public service;
- Individuals in at-risk facilities, such as group homes, nursing homes, long-term care sites, and alternative care facilities;
- First responders and health care workers who have been exposed and cannot return home;
- Homeless individuals in congregate shelters; and
- Individuals in domestic violence shelters.
ADDITIONAL SNAP BENEFITS
The state Department of Social Services “will provide over $16.5 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) Benefits to nearly half of Connecticut’s SNAP participants on Thursday, September 17, 2020 – adding to the $100.6 million in emergency benefits disbursed in April, May, June, July, and August.”
The state says the extra food benefits will go to about 109,600 families that are not currently getting the maximum benefits allowed for their household size. They add, “This means that all households enrolled in SNAP will receive the maximum food benefit allowable for their household size, even if they are not usually eligible for the maximum benefit.”
Emergency benefits allowed the household’s SNAP benefit to increase to the maximum allotment for a household of that size as follows:
|Household size||Maximum benefit amount|
The state says, “for example, if a household of two normally received $255 of SNAP benefits in September, $100 would bring this household up to the maximum benefit for its size. The household will receive a $100 emergency benefit on September 17.”
For additional information about SNAP, visit www.ct.gov/SNAP.