Approximately 90,000 people may be eligible to receive up to $1,800 in additional unemployment payments from the FEMA unemployment program, the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced Monday.
And, before you go looking for how to apply, know this: There is no application process. The state will be able to determine who else is eligible.
The announcement comes on the heels of the DOL announcing that all those who have applied for the additional FEMA funds have been paid. The state announced Monday it has successfully distributed $1.2 billion in FEMA payments to 778,000 eligible claimants who received unemployment benefits between Aug. 1- Sept. 5, the eligibility period for this limited-time federal program.
The DOL said the second round of distribution was completed Wednesday and deposits should have been received in claimants’ accounts Friday or over the weekend.
Here’s the good news: Since these payments did not exhaust New Jersey’s federal allotment for this benefit, the DOL is developing a process for approximately 90,000 remaining claimants who may be eligible but did not attest that their unemployment was COVID-related, as required by federal law.
The DOL said it will be in touch with these claimants with instructions as soon as new guidance is available. People identified as potentially eligible will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org (with the name displaying as NJDOL) and/or a text message from 898-211 with instructions.
There is no need to call the DOL to ask when you can give an attestation or when this money will be distributed, the agency said.
DOL spokesperson Angela Delli-Santi told ROI that the eligibility requirements include being unemployed during the weeks covered by the program (Aug. 1 thru Sept. 5), having a weekly benefit rate of at least $100 and being unemployed for a COVID-related reason.
Delli-Santi said there is not a timeline for the additional payments.
“These FEMA benefits require an adjustment in programming, which takes a little time,” she said. “We will let folks know ASAP.”
The FEMA program paid a $300 weekly supplement to most workers unemployed during the weeks ending Aug. 1 through Sept. 5 for a COVID-related reason, with a maximum benefit of six weeks’ money, or $1,800.
Delli-Santi said that, if claimants meet the eligibility requirements for all six weeks, they would receive the maximum payment of $1,800.
Here’s a look at the FEMA payments by the numbers:
- Total number receiving FEMA payments: 778,309;
- Number who previously attested their unemployment was COVID-related who received the FEMA payment automatically: 642,467;
- Number who responded to emails, texts and calls from the Labor Department, properly certified their unemployment was COVID-related and received FEMA payment: 135,842 (61% of those contacted);
- Number who did not respond to emails, texts and calls from the Labor Department OR who may not be eligible: 88,340 (39% of those contacted);
- Total amount distributed: $1.236 billion.