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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today applauded Gov. Kim Reynolds’ announcement that the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has approved Iowa’s application to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance program. The program provides eligible claimants who are receiving unemployment with additional benefits, starting the week ending August 1, 2020. The additional weekly payments were authorized by President Trump on Aug. 8, 2020 and are designed to provide support after the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Program ended in Iowa on July 25, 2020.”

“Because of Gov. Reynolds’ swift action, unemployed Iowans will soon see additional relief. I commend the Trump administration for quickly approving Iowa’s application. Despite Democrats’ blocking an extension of federal unemployment benefits and their refusal to negotiate in good faith, Republicans are delivering for the American people. Sen. Ernst and I will continue encouraging our Democratic colleagues to join us at the negotiating table so Iowans and Americans across the country can have the certainty they need as the economy continues to recover. I’m confident that under Gov. Reynolds’ leadership, Iowa Workforce Development will continue to work tirelessly to provide help to Iowans who have not yet been able to return to work,” Grassley, author of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program in the CARES Act, said.

“As we continue to navigate the impact of a global pandemic and historic storm, I am committed to ensuring that Iowans have access to all available resources at the state and federal level,” Reynolds said. “Iowa was one of the first states in the country to apply and then receive these additional funds from FEMA. I applaud President Trump and his administration for working so quickly to grant this request. The president and his team are committed to helping Iowans at this critical time.” 

“While we are working every day to secure disaster assistance for this week’s storms, this extra $300 weekly benefit should help families looking to transition back to work or remain on unemployment due to medical or childcare issues,” Reynolds continued.

“Many Iowans have been laid off through no fault of their own during this pandemic,” Senator Joni Ernst said. “This additional benefit will help folks feed their families, pay for child care, or just make ends meet while they’re striving to safely return to work. I’m grateful to the governor and the administration for taking swift action to assist struggling Iowans. I will continue to help provide the support folks need to get through this pandemic, and the devastating storm this week, and get back on their feet.“

Iowa Workforce Development submitted the FEMA Application for additional federal funding on Aug. 13, 2020 and the application was one of the first three approved for funds on August 14th, 2020.  Iowans whose unemployment is the result of the pandemic, and who are eligible for at least $100 in benefits per week, will qualify for an additional $300 weekly benefits retroactive to the week ending August 1st. 

Iowa is the second state in the nation to receive FEMA’s approval of Lost Wages Assistance and it’s reflective of how engaged Iowa’s delegation is in working with the state of Iowa in Washington, D.C.  More information will be available about the Lost Wages Assistance program, eligibility requirements and application process as it becomes available at www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov.  

Author: Press Release