The Connecticut Department of Labor will be applying “very soon” for a federal program that could lead to $300 in additional weekly unemployment benefits for certain recipients who’ve lost work because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday.
During a coronavirus briefing, Lamont said Connecticut plans to choose the option offered by the federal government under President Donald Trump’s recent executive order that allows states to accept $300 a week per person and use funds already being paid to jobless residents to cover the state’s required $100 weekly share.
Lamont has previously said the second option, which required states to come up with a 25 percent match in order for recipients to receive $400 in extra weekly benefits, would be too expensive for the state to cover.
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It’s unclear when eligible Connecticut might start receiving the additional funds and for how long. An earlier $600 a week in federal aid expired on Aug. 1. Congress has been unable to agree on an extension, prompting Trump’s order. A majority of Connecticut’s current 300,000 weekly filers are expected to qualify for the $300.
Meanwhile, Lamont said another $10 million will be set aside for a rental assistance program to help residents impacted by COVID-19. The payments will be made to landlords on behalf of tenants whose applications have been approved. The program was originally announced in late June and funded with $10 million.
The additional round of funding “will allow (landlords) to negotiate with a tenant who was may be in arrears or slow in their payments to make it easier for that person to power through and reach the point where they’re able to start making the full payments again on the past due rent,” Lamont said.