Delaware Public Media

Some Delawareans will see $300 a week increase in unemployment benefits

Sep 10, 2020

Some unemployment recipients in Delaware are set to get an extra $300 per week.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the First State’s application to tap into Lost Wages Assistance funding. 

That’s a $44 billion pool President Trump appropriated for Americans who’ve lost wages during the COVID pandemic. 

Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance Director Darryl Scott says his agency will actively reach out to those who qualify. 

“We’ll be sending letters and emails to people to ask them to either call or visit the website to answer a question. And depending on how they answer the question, we’ll manage the payment of the benefit on the backend,” said Scott. “Again, people do not need to call, they do not need to do anything unique. We will be proactively communicating to them if they are eligible for the program.”  

The question asked is whether the person claiming unemployment lost their job due to COVID.

To qualify for the extra $300 the recipient must have collected $100 or more in benefits during the four weeks ending Aug 1st through Aug. 22. 

Scott says FEMA intends to pay out the extra benefits for a maximum six weeks.

“We have been authorized for four. We anticipate we will get week five and six. We just need to begin paying the benefits and then they’ll give a grant award for weeks five and six,” he said.  

The program begins on Monday and will end when the federal funding runs out, new federal legislation to cover unemployment is passed or Dec. 27, whichever comes first.

Scott says the number of new weekly claims in Delaware continues to trend below 2,000. The First State saw a peak of more than 20,000 in late March and early April.