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Gov. Stitt: FEMA approves Oklahoma for extra weekly unemployment assistance

Posted at 12:12 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 13:35:30-04

Governor Stitt announced FEMA approved the State's application for extra weekly unemployment assistance through the Lost Wages Assistance program.

I am thankful for the teams at the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management for working effectively with FEMA to ensure our application quickly received a stamp of approval. I look forward to working with OESC to make sure the additional $300 in weekly benefits are distributed efficiently and on target to help Oklahomans as they continue working to find secure employment.
Gov. Kevin Stitt

LWA provides unemployment claimants with an extra $300 per week in benefits. It will start on or after Aug. 1, 2020 and end no later than, Dec. 27, 2020.

Oklahoma is the ninth state to get approval and will begin implementing LWA immediately, officials said.

FEMA will fund the $300 per week benefit. Oklahoma will then fulfill the 25 percent match through funding that's already being paid out in regular unemployment benefits.

To qualify for the LWA program, Oklahomans will need to show proof of unemployment or partial unemployment due the coronavirus pandemic. The state will also have to confirm the person is receiving at least $100 of OESC unemployment benefits.

“OESC's priority continues to be getting Oklahomans the help they need. The agency partnered with Department of Emergency Management to submit the FEMA application and we are proud to be one of the first 10 states to get our application approved,” said Shelley Zumwalt, interim executive director of OESC. “We’re operating in a compressed timeline with the understanding people across our state need help; and while many other states are estimating implementation to take up to 10 weeks, we are anticipating implementation within our system in four-to-five weeks.”

CLICK HERE for more information on the Lost Wages Assistance program.

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