Issue Brief 20-20
August 24, 2020

On August 8, the president issued a memorandum authorizing “Other Needs Assistance” under the Stafford Act, which governs major disaster and emergency declarations and assistance. The authorization came in response to the late-July expiration of $600 per week in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and the failure of Congress to extend that program.

Under this initiative, states may access disaster relief funds administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for $300 in weekly benefits, which require a $100 state match (25%). This brief provides questions and answers on this assistance based on information released by FEMA and the Department of Labor (DOL).