South Dakota awaits feds’ guidance on president’s $400 unemployment bonus

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The federal government is still developing details about the announcement from U.S. President Donald Trump that he would offer a $400 bonus weekly bonus unemployment benefit per person, with states responsible for $100 of the $400, a spokeswoman for the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation said Monday.

“The U.S. DOL (Department of Labor) is working on guidance for states to implement this ‘lost wages assistance.’ DLR will share more information on what this means for South Dakotans when available,” Dawn Dovre told KELOLAND News.

The president’s announcement Saturday came after the Democrat-run U.S. House and the Republican-run U.S. Senate couldn’t reach agreement on the amount of further COVID-19 relief for the unemployed. The $600 weekly bonus ended July 31.

South Dakota had 15,643 claims for unemployment for the week ending July 18, according to the state department.

The weekly announcement said $2.8 million was paid out in state benefits, in addition to $9.4 million in federal pandemic unemployment compensation.

If South Dakota participates in Trump’s program, the state’s share would rise $100 per person, while the federal bonus would be cut in half.

Using the 15,643 figure, the state would pay another $1,564,300 in benefits per week, while the federal bonus would be $4,692.900 per week.

The state unemployment insurance trust fund had $119.4 million as of August 2, according to the department. Since March 16, when unemployment in South Dakota began to show a pandemic-related increase, the state fund had paid $70 million in benefits, while the federal bonus totaled $187 million.

The most recent monthly unemployment rate for South Dakota was 7.2 % for June, down from 9.4 % in May but more than double the 3.3 % from June 2019. People seeking more information about re-employment assistance in South Dakota can look here.

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