On Saturday, August 8, 2020, President Trump took executive actions, sidestepping Congress, to extend certain federal pandemic economic relief. The executive actions were issued after Congressional negotiations over additional pandemic economic relief appeared to have collapsed.
One of these executive actions would address additional unemployment relief by establishing a new lost wages assistance program that would provide a $400 weekly payment to eligible claimants beginning with weeks of unemployment ending August 1, 2020. Individuals would be eligible for these $400 payments if they receive at least $100 per week in any of the following types of benefits: unemployment compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Extended Benefits, Short-Time Compensation, Trade Adjustment Allowance, or Self-Employment Assistance. The $400 would be comprised of a $300 federal contribution, diverted by FEMA from the Disaster Relief Fund, and a required $100 State match, proposed to come from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for States. Some States say they do not know whether they can participate because of their own State budget shortfalls caused by the emergency and because use of the CRF would divert funds from necessary COVID-19 testing programs.