W.Va. to send $400 in jobless benefits next week

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia will start processing additional unemployment benefits to residents next week, Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday.

The federal government approved the state’s application for funding late last month. Those unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic will receive an additional $400 per week through the Lost Wages Assistance Program created by President Donald Trump.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide $300 and the state will chip in $100 through coronavirus relief funds, Justice said.

The benefits will be sent out starting Monday, said Scott Adkins, the acting commissioner of WorkForce West Virginia. They replace $600 weekly payments that expired in July.

Eligible residents at first will retroactively receive five weeks of benefits totaling $2,000, minus withholding taxes, for Aug. 1 through Aug. 29, Adkins said. Residents must certify they are unemployed because of the coronavirus.

Individuals who returned to work or exhausted their benefits before Aug. 1 will not be eligible.

Residents must currently receive at least $100 weekly in state unemployment benefits to get the full amount. Those ineligible for the $400 can still receive $100 each week provided by the state. Adkins said the extra $100 will affect nearly 15,000 families.

West Virginia has been approved for $103 million. Once the money has been exhausted, the benefits will cease, Adkins said.

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