ST. PAUL — Minnesotans on unemployment insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting executive orders could see a $600 bump to their benefits in a matter of days as a federal payment gets processed in the state.
Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said the payments will be applied to benefits for the week beginning March 29. Those who requested payment for the week on or after April 5 will see the extra money applied automatically.
And those who request unemployment insurance April 6 or later will see the extra funds applied and deposited to their bank account or unemployment insurance debit card statement, Grove said.
The federal CARES Act appropriated the additional funding to supplement employment insurance payments that come through the states. In Minnesota, 367,194 had filed for the benefits since mid-March, when the COVID-19 pandemic started to take hold.
“With a record number of unemployment applications, we know this is an uncertain and challenging time for many," Grove said in a news release. "It was critical that we act swiftly and provide this additional compensation without delay.”
Grove noted that those already set up to receive unemployment benefits don't need to reach out to the department to ensure they get the extra funds. And payments could take a few days to process before reaching Minnesotans.
The Minnesota Department of Health on Wednesday reported that 1,154 Minnesotans had tested positive for COVID-19 in Minnesota of 30,753 tested for the illness. And 39 deaths have stemmed from the disease or complications.
Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday that he would extend the state's stay-at-home order, with possible alterations, until May 4. And bars, restaurants and areas of public amusement were also ordered closed, with the exception of take-out or delivery food orders, until then.