DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Unemployed Texans will receive at least two more $300 weekly payments from the federal Lost Wage Assistance program.
The Texas Workforce Commission said it now has received federal funding to pay for the $300 weekly benefit for last two weeks of August.
Initially, Texas had only been approved for enough money to pay for first three weeks of August.
The added benefit was backdated to August 1st. In total, eligible unemployed Texans will see five weeks’ worth of $300 weekly benefit.
Last month when Congress failed to extend the $600 federal unemployment benefit, President Donald Trump created a program to fund $300 weekly payments for the unemployed.
The money for the program comes from FEMA’s disaster fund – the same fund used to help the victims of Hurricane Laura and other natural disasters.
According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the money President Trump pulled from FEMA’s disaster fund will only last about five weeks.
It appears unlikely unemployed Texans will see the extra $300 on their benefit checks for weeks starting in September.
Tuesday, a small group of unemployed restaurant workers protested outside Senator John Cornyn’s Dallas office.
The demonstrators called on Congress to extend the $600 federal unemployment benefit that expired in July.
“It’s going to be pretty dire is nothing else is done,” said Lily Rutledge, who was furloughed as a waitress when restaurants were forced to close in March.
Rutledge said she’s been offered to return to work with reduced hours but is looking for a job where she feels safer since she cares of her mother who is at high-risk of COVID-19.
“It’s not that we don’t want to work, it’s that we are unable to find full-time work and a working environment that is safe for us,” she said.
Democrats want to extend the $600 weekly benefit, while Republicans want to reduce it to $200 per week.
Neither side has budged in weeks.