New York to roll out extra $300 per week to unemployed residents under FEMA grant

Posted at 4:46 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 17:38:42-04

NEW YORK — New York is set to roll out $300 Lost Wages Assistance payments to residents beginning next week, officials said Thursday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the state for a grant that will allow the state to pay out extra benefits each week to unemployed residents. The program will be retroactive to the beginning of August, a Department of Labor spokesperson said.

About 2 million New Yorkers are pre-qualified for the assistance, officials said. Around 435,000 residents must submit additional certification to qualify. Those who are qualified will receive emails, Labor Department Commissioner Roberta Reardon said.

"All New Yorkers should keep an eye out for these messages and, if an additional certification is required, respond immediately," Reardon said.

In early August, President Donald Trump made up to $44 billion from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund available for people who lost wages because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Throughout this crisis, states’ unemployment systems have been pushed to the limit and constantly-changing federal guidance — including this haphazard Presidential executive order — have only delayed our efforts to get benefits to New Yorkers in need," Reardon said. "But we have worked day and night to stand up this program, and millions of New Yorkers will see payments next week."

Of the estimated 2.4 million New Yorkers who may be eligible:

  • Approximately 2 million are already qualified because they indicated on their initial benefit application that their unemployment was connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. These claimants will not need to take any further action.

About 435,000 New Yorkers to submit an additional certification confirming that their unemployment is related to COVID-19. They can certify starting Friday online or via phone. They'll receive a DocuSign email from the DOL with a link to certify for benefits. They can also call 833-491-0632 to certify via an automated phone system.