When will the $300 enhanced weekly unemployment benefits get issued?

August 21, 2020, 2:41 PM UTC

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Thirteen states received approval this week to send out $300 per week in federal funds on top of their regular unemployment benefits. These enhanced benefits, created under a memorandum signed by President Trump, replace the $600 enhanced benefit that expired the week ended July 25.

Unemployed Americans have gone three benefit-check cycles without enhanced benefits, and around one in three has already cut household spending as a result, according to a Fortune–SurveyMonkey poll conducted between Aug. 17 and 18.

When should people expect these enhanced checks to actually hit their bank accounts? In the 13 states that have received federal approval, it should be this week or next. That’s the case for unemployed Arizonans, who received the $300 supplement payment on Monday for the week ended Aug. 15, on top of their state benefits. And Arizona state officials say the federal payment for the weeks ended Aug. 1 and Aug. 8 should come this week or next.

The $44 billion allocated by Trump for the enhanced unemployment benefit is expected to last five weeks, through the week ending Aug. 29, according to a report by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Trump pulled the $44 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) budget, and every day the agency announces the new states approved for the $300 weekly benefit. Fortune is tracking the list of approved states here.

But not every state will get the benefit. Among the states that won’t is South Dakota, which became the first state to turn down the offer, citing a strong economic rebound and no need for the additional aid. The June unemployment rate in South Dakota was 7.2%, compared with an 11.1% national jobless rate. FEMA has yet to announce the status of the remaining 38 states.

The White House has already made it clear the benefit will be paid retroactively to the week ended Aug. 1. And the $300 a week in enhanced benefits will go only to jobless Americans who are already receiving at least $100 in state benefits. That is a smaller pool of recipients than the one for the first round of enhanced checks, which wasn’t limited in this manner.

There still remains the possibility the memorandum could face a legal challenge, given that Trump bypassed Congress to pull the funding from FEMA to pay for the enhanced benefit.

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