Those unemployed due to pandemic to receive additional $300 check from Lost Wages Assistance program this week


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Starting this week, those who lost their job due to the pandemic could be getting an extra $300 a week.

“Yeah I have faith,” said Julisa Cuencas, of Hartford, who is holding out hope she will be eligible for the latest round of federal help for those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

“I have a few friends who were hit hard by the coronavirus everything shutting down so hopefully they can build their lives up again,” said Michael Vazquez, of Hartford.

The Lost Wages Assistance is a $44-billion program funded by FEMA and authorized by the president.  Many in Connecticut could start seeing their first $300 check this week. 

Related: Lost Wages Assistance program extended to six total weeks; $300 supplemental benefit expected to be paid beginning this week

The state Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby says “Connecticut was just approved for another week of assistance for a total of six weeks, but this program is only a temporary one—FEMA will end it once available federal funding is exhausted.”

The program is retroactive back to July 26 when the $600 federal benefit ended. It also applies to unemployment claims beginning the weeks of August 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. But if you were laid off in September you’re not eligible.

Those who qualify for all six weeks could get a total $1,800.

“And the extra $300 to keep on going will benefit them with extra bills, food for their kids, food for their house,” said Cuencas. “Just to catch up a little bit until they go back to work.”

Jose Rivera’s friend also applied to the program.

“She’s hoping that she gets the $300 now because she’s got kids too you know,” said Rivera. 

Gloria Gregory says she was denied the extra help.

“I know I’m not the only one in this situation and it’s depressing,” said Gregory.

To be eligible, claimants need to be receiving at least a hundred dollars in unemployment benefits a week.

“When I heard that I was just so stressed out,” said Gregory. “I don’t understand that.  I was getting the six hundred dollars?”

Gregory gets $20 a week in unemployment benefits which doesn’t meet the threshold for this program.

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