JONESBORO, Ark- Governor Hutchinson announced a new assistance program yesterday set to help jobless Arkansans.
The lost wages assistance program will give Arkansans an extra $300 a week in assistance.
“It will help a lot of people make ends meet. It’s not as good as the $600, actually, it’s half of that. But it will help and keep things along,” says Associate Professor of Finance at A-State, Philip Tew.
On August 8th president trump signed an executive order allowing states the option to extend benefits to cover the federal benefits package that expired in late July.
The extra assistance will come from FEMA funding.
Those enrolled in the pandemic unemployment assistance program automatically qualify.
Arkansas Secretary of Commerce, Mike Preston says you have to receive at least $100 dollars a week in assistance to qualify.
He says they are helping those who make under $100 dollars a week.
“We’re going to make some TANF funds available through the Department of Workforce Services. TANF is the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program,” says Preston. “We will match the federal FEMA, the LWA Program for those individuals.”
To qualify, for the TANF Program, one must have a child under 18 and meet federal poverty level criteria.
Tew says this not only will put money back into Arkansan’s pockets, but also help stimulate the local economy.
“It’s basically to keep it from tanking. Do I think the $300 will be put away for a rainy day? No, because now is their rainy day is now,” says Tew. “If they’re getting unemployment compensation this extra $300 is helping keep the lights on and food on the table.”
Tew says while this will help the economy, he doesn’t think it will fully recover until there is a vaccine.
Traditional unemployment recipients are asked to go to www.arknet.arkansas.gov or call 501-907-2590 to learn if you qualify.