Kentucky sends $400 checks to people barred from Trump unemployment plan


Andy Beshear, governor of Kentucky

Scotty Perry/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kentucky is sending $400 checks to thousands of unemployed workers in the state who didn’t qualify for an earlier round of relief authorized by President Donald Trump.

Other workers whose jobless benefits have been significantly delayed will get $1,000 one-time payments.

Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order Tuesday directing $48 million to these groups of workers, who’ve slipped through cracks in the state and federal unemployment system.

“Federal requirements for programs administered by the Office of Unemployment Insurance have prevented Kentucky from making payments to some qualifying individuals, through no fault of those applicants,” according to the executive order.

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The funds come as $900 billion in fresh pandemic relief, including stimulus checks, extra unemployment aid and rent assistance, starts to reach needy Americans. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to soon unveil a proposal for additional money, including a call for $2,000 stimulus checks.

Other states and cities — like Alaska, California, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico and New York City — disbursed relief to residents toward the end of 2020. Like many of those jurisdictions, Kentucky is backing the effort with a federal coronavirus relief fund.

$400 checks

$1,000 checks

Approximately 24,000 workers will get a $1,000 one-time payment, Beshear, a Democrat, said.

Workers are eligible if they filed for unemployment between March 4 and Oct. 31 last year, but the state hasn’t yet vetted and paid their benefits, according to the executive order. Eligibility also hinges on having a verified identity and no hint of fraud.

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