Weekly unemployment claims holding steady in Utah as new benefit disbursed

The Utah Department of Workforce Services’ main administration building in Salt Lake City now bears the name of the late Gov. Olene S. Walker. The building was renamed during a ceremony celebrating the department’s 20th anniversary on Thursday, June 29, 2017.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services’ main administration building in Salt Lake City. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The number of Utahns filing for unemployment compensation was flat over the past week.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services reported Thursday that the total number of new claims for jobless benefits in the Beehive State registered at 4,563 for the week of Aug. 30 to Sept. 5 compared to 4,591 claims the prior week. The state paid out $17.5 million in benefits to claimants over the week.

The state also reported 54,661 continuing claims for unemployment aid.

Utah also issued the first new disbursements in a recently funded federal aid package aimed at helping individuals recoup previously unpaid benefits.

“The Department of Workforce Services is proud to announce that we have successfully began to distribute the $300 weekly Lost Wages Assistance payments for the weeks ending Aug. 1, 8, and 15th to those that are eligible, providing much needed economic relief,” said Unemployment Insurance Division director Kevin Burt. “The payment is fully integrated into the benefit system, as a result no application or request is needed, anyone that received an unemployment benefit during the applicable weeks will automatically be considered for this additional assistance.”

Lost Wages Assistance is available to each state for a six-week period running from July 26 through Sept. 5, he explained. The six-week time limit resulted because of high state participation and capped funding availability to the federally funded program.

Individual eligibility is based on participants receiving at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefits. Claimants must also be eligible for one of the standard unemployment programs during the applicable time period and must have been unemployed or partially unemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If those criteria are met, benefits will be automatically calculated and distributed during the month of September based on unemployment claims already received, Burt said.

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Source:: Deseret News – Business News


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