FEMA approves grant to add extra $300 to unemployment checks


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Those who are still unable to work because of the pandemic may be getting some extra help again.

“Every little bit helps for sure, yeah,” said Tanya Copeland, of Deep River.

Copeland is a single mother and had been working 55 hours a week at both a full and part-time jobs.

“When the pandemic hit, I was furloughed from my part time job and went down to only 15 hours at my full-time job,” said Copeland.

She took a huge financial hit so receiving the government’s extra $600 a week along with her unemployment benefits helped out a lot. That ended in late July but more help could be on the way. 

The state just applied for a FEMA grant which would provide an extra $300 to those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

“It was approved I believe as of last night,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “Now they’ve got to get their guidance in place so that DOL, our Department of Labor, can react. It will probably take another two or three weeks to roll out.”

“Definitely something I’m going to check into because with my son’s school is only doing a hybrid so he’s going to be at home three days a week,” said Copeland. “You know extra meals and electricity and everything.”

Copeland worries what will happen when the weather gets colder and the outdoor seating at her restaurant goes away. 

“We’re only gong to be fifty percent capacity, what does that mean for the fall?” she asked. “We’re all very nervous at the restaurant.”

Along with the Department of Labor’s Appeals Divisions, all American Job Centers also remain closed to the public right now and those job centers are where people often go for help to find a new job or training for a new career.

The FEMA money may help those whose careers are on hold. 

To see a list of states previously approved for lost wages assistance, click here.

To learn more about FEMA’s lost wages supplemental payment assistance, click here.

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