Federal officials on Tuesday approved Maine’s request for additional benefits for those who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This means unemployed Mainers will be eligible to receive $300 a week on top of whatever weekly unemployment benefits they are now receiving from the state, although when that might begin isn’t clear.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Pete Gaynor said Tuesday that his agency approved Maine for a FEMA grant under the Lost Wages Assistance program, and that the state had agreed to administer it. The funds must be used for people who have become unemployed because of COVID-19.

FEMA will work with Gov. Janet Mills on implementing the supplemental benefit system.

The state had made no announcement as of Tuesday night and messages left with the governor’s office and the Maine Department of Labor were not returned.

“Our administration will do whatever we can to put money into the pockets of Maine people and get them through these difficult times, but it is clear that Congress and the (Trump) administration in Washington must step up and replace short-term measures like this with a serious and comprehensive coronavirus relief package that supports Maine families and small businesses,” Mills said in a statement issued last week when the state requested funding under the program.

President Trump established the program through an executive order after a $600-per-week federal unemployment benefit expired at the end of July. The order came after Congress and the White House failed to reach agreement on another round of pandemic relief funding.

Maine will now receive funding to cover extended benefits for three weeks and money on a weekly basis for as long as the federal funds last, according to Gaynor’s release. The state has said that it will need to establish a new system to distribute unemployment benefits – a process that could take three weeks. In July, Maine’s jobless rate jumped to 10 percent from 6.7 percent in June.

On Aug. 8, Trump authorized making up to $44 billion available from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to Americans who have lost wages because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since Aug. 13, a total of 31 states, including Maine, have received the grants. New Hampshire and Connecticut also received the grants Tuesday, according to FEMA’s website. The website made no mention of Maine receiving the funds.

On its website, FEMA says that the lost wages program will end Dec. 27.

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