Philadelphia residents gathered in City Hall to demand the return of Congress and reach an agreement on unemployment and other key features of the HEROES Act.
Cory Clark / NurPhoto via Getty Images
At least five states have started increasing weekly unemployment benefits at the federal level. Others have signaled that they will do so within a few days.
Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas are the first states to pay out the aid, increasing unemployment benefits by $ 300 per week. (States might choose to collect an additional $ 100 per week, but most have chosen not to.)
It has been almost three weeks since President Trump signed an executive measure to create the Lost Wage Assistance Program.
The program will provide unemployment benefits of up to $ 44 billion to the unemployed. The weekly allowance is on top of the benefits employees currently receive.
States must apply for and obtain federal approval to pay the $ 300 weekly grant. So far, 34 states have received approval.
States will receive an initial tranche of funding for three weeks of unemployment that covers the weeks August 1st through August 15th. You will then have to apply for additional funds every week.
Arizona, Louisiana, and Missouri were among the first states to receive federal approval for loss of earnings almost two weeks ago. Texas followed shortly afterwards.
State Department of Economic Security spokesman Brett Bezio said Arizona spent $ 252.6 million on 400,000 workers last week. All workers who are eligible for payments between August 1 and August 8 will receive them in the next few days, Bezio said.
More from Personal Finance:
Can you be evicted during the pandemic?
In most cities it is impossible to live on unemployment benefits
Half of the parents assume that they will lose income during this early school year
According to spokesman Francisco Gamez, spokesman for the state Workforce Commission, Texas disbursed more than $ 424 million this week out of the total of $ 1.38 billion approved.
Louisiana disbursed $ 240 million to nearly 300,000 eligible workers on Wednesday, according to a statement from the state Workforce Commission.
Department of Labor and Human Development spokesman Chris Cannon said Tennessee began delivering aid on Wednesday. The state received initial funding of $ 236 million.
Missouri began processing the $ 300 surcharge Tuesday evening and workers should be receiving payments "soon", according to a statement from the Missouri Department of Labor and Labor Relations.
According to the statement, the state has been approved total funding of $ 200 million for approximately 100,000 eligible workers. The first retrospective payment is expected to be issued by the end of this week, with the remainder due by the end of next week.
A spokeswoman for the Federal Agency for Disaster Control, which oversees the funding of the aid program for lost wages, declined to say whether other states had started paying out the aid.
It can take a few weeks for many other states to make payments, mainly due to administrative challenges.
For example, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment estimates that payments won't come in until mid to late September.
According to Cathy Munoz, assistant commissioner for the state's Department of Labor and Human Resources Development, it will take six to eight weeks to reprogram changes to the state's technology systems required to disbursement aid.
A weekly $ 600 surcharge ended in July after Congress failed to agree on the structure of additional relief. At the beginning of August around 27 million workers received unemployment benefits.
States that have not yet received federal approval for the $ 300 weekly grant include: Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The District of Columbia has also not received a permit. South Dakota will not apply for assistance.