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Connecticut Approved For $300 Unemployment Supplement From FEMA

Image by Jerry Nettik from Pixabay

Unemployed residents in Connecticut will be allowed to collect an extra $300 weekly from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.

FEMA approved Connecticut for the $300 benefit on Monday. Fred Carstensen is a UCONN Economics professor. He said the program funding is limited because the president redirected it from FEMA by executive order.

“There is at most about three weeks of additional support available, so it’s very very small by any, I think, reasonable standard. And on top of that, it’s not clear that he has legal authority to do so,” Carstensen said.

Carstensen said it could take weeks for the state to begin to distribute the FEMA funds, and that the unemployment system in Connecticut has been overwhelmed and that there is a backlog of people waiting for benefits. He also worries $300 is too little, too late. He says businesses are already beginning to suffer from a dip in consumer spending, weeks after the $600 federal unemployment benefit expired.

Congress couldn’t agree on a bill to extend the benefit that lawmakers were confident the president would sign.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.