Alaska Congressional Delegation Announces Unemployment Assistance Relief Grant

$19.9 Million in Funding for Lost Wages Assistance Program under FEMA

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, (all R-AK), today announced that FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor approved the State of Alaska for a FEMA grant of $19,902,565 under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program from the Disaster Relief Fund. The LWA funds are made available to states and territories, providing financial resources to help those who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are receiving unemployment benefits. This grant funding will allow the State of Alaska to provide those unemployed due to COVID-19 an additional $300 per week on top of their regular unemployment benefit.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented financial hardships on small businesses across Alaska and hard-working Alaskans. We appreciate the Administration’s timely approval of this LWA grant funding and we applaud Governor Dunleavy and his team for taking action promptly on the FEMA application process to receive this extension of federal unemployment insurance benefits. Those quick actions led to the ability to provide this temporary, but critical relief for Alaskans who are struggling to overcome the impacts of this pandemic. Alaskans are strong and resilient. But as we continue our efforts to develop long-term solutions to the challenges created as a result of COVID-19, these funds will go a long way in helping Alaskans who are temporarily out of work.”

Background: On August 8, President Trump approved up to $44 billion from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to Americans who have lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant funding is administered to states and territories through a grant agreement with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. To help support Americans during this tumultuous period, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting through the FEMA Administrator, is authorized to make available other needs assistance for lost wages. Acting upon this authority, DHS Secretary Chad Wolf approved the Lost Wages Assistance Program, to give states funding to bring financial relief to unemployed Americans.

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