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Kansans begin receiving extra $600 in additional unemployment benefits

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas Department of Labor Secretary Delia García provided an update on coronavirus response in Kansas.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is reporting 2,482 COVID-19 cases with 112 deaths and 442 hospitalizations. The number of cases is up 271 from on Wednesday. The number of deaths climbed by two more.

The Kansas Department of Labor is now reporting that the additional $600 each week provided by the CARES Act Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) enacted on March 27 is working.

“The department of labor will be processing more than $3.4 million in benefits today,” Gov. Kelly said.

“If you’re eligible, you’re automatically going to receive the FPUC payment so you do not need to add an additional application and the retroactive payments are for prior weeks after the law went into effect on March 29 will be following soon after,” said Kansas Labor Secretary Delia Garcia.

Garcia added the Kansas legislature passed a temporary extension to increase the number of weeks an individual would be eligible for unemployment benefits from up to 16 weeks to now 26 weeks for claims filed after January 1 of this year.

“So if you are eligible, you will automatically receive the benefits extension. No application is required other than filing your weekly claims,” said Garcia.

The governor also announced that the department of labor will be looking at workers’ compensation coverage for emergency responders and healthcare workers.

“The department of labor will draft and submit a temporary regulation and develop potential legislation to create workers compensation coverage for our first responders and health care workers who contract COVID-19 while assisting in the state’s response to the pandemic,” said Gov. Kelly. “The regulation and proposed legislation will create a presumption that first responders and health care workers who contract COVID-19 contracted the disease arising out of and in the course of their employment.”

Governor Kelly also addressed the Kansas National Guard’s response. She said guard members are working to move food to food banks, helping corrections officers at Lansing prison and helping the Kansas Department of Health and Environment with tests across the state. She said the Kansas Division of Emergency Management is working to purchase and distribute personal protective equipment, testing, and facilitating food distribution for food banks across the state.

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