The United States is still reeling from the economic devastation of the coronavirus. Unemployment in the country is at an all-time high as small businesses struggle to beat the effects of the pandemic. Despite this, the federal government has been pushing forward several coronavirus relief packages designed to cushion US families against these devastating effects.
But after two rounds of COVID-19 relief programs were passed by the Congress, the third one hit a snag. The GOP and the Democrats have accused each other of failing to act in good faith, something that led to a relief package falling through.
As a result, the president took reasonability and signed an executive order earlier this month to get American families the money they need. The so-called “Lost Wages Assistance Program” is already in full force, and states had until September 10 to apply.
All applications are supposed to go through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is working in collaboration with state agencies to process these payments.
The plan looks to give people $300 a week in relief, but states have the option to add another $100 if they so wish to bring the total figure to $400. However, there’s a real fear that the program could run out of money before it has any real impact.
Right now, the plan can only fund up to six weeks in benefits, but it also looks like several states won’t be able to meet the deadline.
South Dakota is the only state that has confirmed it won’t apply for the funding. The state feels that there has been significant job recovery and such federal assistance isn’t needed.
However, most experts note that states are moving way too slow in implementing this program. But it’s understandable to some extent, especially when you consider the relief program was passed very fast and via an executive order. It seems like most states are biding their time and approaching the program with caution just to be sure they are following the law.
It doesn’t look likely that there will be any agreement in Congress, though. As the US heads to its general election in November, the question of the coronavirus and how it’s been handled will be in the minds of many voters.
Although it seems like the crisis is somewhat under control, the US is still reporting the highest average daily cases in the world. Most businesses also remain closed around the country.