The state of Minnesota will start distributing an extra $300 a week in unemployment payments to out-of-work residents this weekend.
The funds, which are from a federal program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will cover at least five weeks retroactive to the week ending Aug. 1.
They are a partial replacement for the additional $600 a week unemployed workers received from the CARES Act this spring and summer, which expired at the end of July.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said in statement that it planned to start issuing the first $300 payments on Friday night, but said it could take four to five days for all of them to go out because of the large volume.
The state's application to the Lost Wages Assistance program, which was authorized by an executive order by President Donald Trump, was approved last weekend. DEED said it received funds from the U.S. Treasury on Friday to initially cover five weeks. The program will last until the federal fund runs out, which DEED has said will likely be this month.
About 330,000 Minnesotans are expected to receive the supplemental payments. But about 4 to 5% of those now receiving benefits will not qualify because they fall under the threshold stipulated by the program that they must be getting at least $100 in unemployment benefits. Workers also have to be unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic to be eligible.
DEED said Friday that the payments for the first five weeks from July 26-Aug. 1 through Aug. 22-29 will be made over consecutive days. A tentative schedule of when each payment will go out has been posted at uimn.org/lwa. Because of bank processing times and the Labor Day holiday, DEED said it may take a few days for payments to reach recipients.
Workers do not need to do anything special to apply for this program as long as they have already been receiving unemployment benefits during the specified weeks. DEED will automatically send the extra money to them.