Close to 30 states have said that they're not sure if they will be accepting President Donald Trump's grant offer that increases federal unemployment benefits by $300 to $400. These payments would temporarily fill in for the expired $600 provided by the CARES Act that was passed by Congress in March. Two states (Pennsylvania and South Dakota) have outright rejected the offer, saying it is a "convoluted" plan. Mississippi was reported to have rejected the offer, but later stated that they would not turn down federal aid at this time.
The main reason most of the states are opting out of the additional payments is that they can't afford the extra financial cost (states would need to pay $100 out of the additional $400). States also claim there are too many bureaucratic hoops from the President's executive order on August 8, 2020.
Many of the 30 states governors that are undecided about whether to accept the federal funds have expressed hope that Congress and the White House will come to another agreement that will make this grant offer null.
Currently, 18 states have said that they will accept the federal grant option. Out of those 18 states, New Mexico was the first state to apply for the aid last week. New Mexico was also the fist state to be announced as a recipient by FEMA that received the aid. The state is now trying to reprogram their benefit distribution system to make sure that they can get the money into the hands of their citizens. New Mexico is joined by Arizona, Iowa and Louisiana as other states that were first to request theses emergency funds.
List of states that have applied for the FEMA funds to allocate to unemployment. For some states that means $300 in additional unemployment, and some are adding another $100 in state aid for a total of $400 in benefits per week.
The earliest that the extra unemployment benefits would be available for most citizens is August 29th. The reason for the longer time table is that most state's benefits system will need to be either adjusted to be able to accept the funds and pay them out or states will need to build a new system just handle these extra benefits. The one state that will see these extra benefits start sooner is Arizona.
Would you rather go back to work or wait for more stimulus/unemployment benefits to be approved?