Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Administration has approved the state’s application to provide unemployed Marylanders with an additional $300 per week in benefits under the Lost Wages Assistance program.

The Maryland Department of Labor will now work with the federal administration to implement this program, with a plan to begin distributing the additional benefits by late September.

“It is important to recognize that this is only a stopgap, and we continue to urge Congress to come together and approve federal aid for the states to help support our economic recovery,” said Hogan in a statement.

From March 9 to August 15, the Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance paid a total of $5,993,589,284 in regular and CARES Act unemployment insurance benefits to claimants. The state’s application secures a minimum of $431 million in additional benefits for unemployed Marylanders.

The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance will coordinate with the U.S. Department of Labor and FEMA to complete the programming, implementation, and distribution of the funds, which is expected to begin by late September. Per FEMA guidelines, Maryland’s application for the LWA program has been initially approved for a three-week period.

Eligible claimants will receive the $300 per week in benefits retroactive to the week ending August 1, 2020 and ending no later than December 26, 2020. To qualify for the additional $300 per week, claimants must be eligible for a weekly benefit amount of at least $100 and must self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Claimants will not have to file a new application to receive LWA benefits.

Although President Trump’s measure called for $400 in additional benefits, states can use existing unemployment funds to meet the federal $100 matching requirement, which is why the state requires at least $100 in unemployment benefits to be eligible for the additional $300.