US approves extra $300 for unemployed Pennsylvanians, but it won’t last long

Blank U.S. Treasury checks
Photo credit William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The federal government has approved Pennsylvania to receive the extra $300 in weekly benefits for jobless workers, as part of President Donald Trump’s disaster relief executive order. 

However, the cash may run out within a few weeks.

FEMA is granting Pennsylvania $1.5 billion to distribute to workers making more than $100 a week in unemployment compensation, as part of the Lost Wages Assistance program.

Pennsylvania Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak said they haven’t yet received final guidance from the federal government on how to run it, or how to distribute it, so it will take a few weeks for officials to develop a new system to disburse the funds.

To be eligible, jobless workers must receive more than $100 from regular Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Extended Benefits, Short-Time Compensation or Shared Work, or Trade Readjustment Allowance. 

Those who are eligible will be retroactively paid from Aug. 1,  and the funds will run every week for at least three weeks. But based on calculations, labor officials believe there will only be enough money for everyone for about a month.

Some may only receive about $900 total. Oleksiak and Pennsylvania officials are urging the Senate to extend the extra $600 in pandemic compensation, which he calls a “lifeline” for unemployed workers.