Lawmakers want additional unemployment benefits for people making under $100

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Some of the state’s lowest-income residents aren’t receiving extended unemployment benefits.

Over 100 legislators on Beacon Hill have sent a letter to the federal government calling for help because they say 17,000 citizens in the Commonwealth lack access to extended unemployment benefits.

Back in August, FEMA began accepting applications for the Lost Wages Assistance program for which Massachusetts was approved.  

However, the Trump administration included a restriction that prevented people from receiving less than $100 a week on unemployment from receiving an additional $300 weekly. Now, Massachusetts lawmakers are stepping in to protect some of the state’s lowest wage earners.

“The lowest-income people who had very low wage jobs before coronavirus lost their jobs because of the pandemic and were relying on this aid to feed their families to purchase food, to pay their rent,” Senator Eric Lesser said.

Just like higher wage earners on unemployment, the additional benefits would only be given out for four weeks. A move that many of the state legislators believe would not only benefit families in need it would also benefit the local economies.

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