The administration of Gov. Laura Kelly plans to seek federal approval for Kansas’ participation in a new unemployment benefit program created by an executive memorandum issued by President Donald Trump, state officials said Thursday.
On Aug. 8, Trump directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to expend up to $44 billion from its disaster relief fund to provide lost wage assistance to Americans who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. If Kansas’ application is accepted by FEMA, the program would provide eligible claimants an additional $400 per week on top of regular unemployment benefits.
The aid package would deliver $300 weekly from FEMA matched by $100 per week from the state of Kansas. The state portion can be taken from federal appropriations tied to coronavirus. However, to qualify for the supplemental funding a person must be eligible to receive at least $100 of weekly jobless benefits. Applicants also will be required to self-certify they were unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19.