Unemployed Skagway Residents to Receive Additional Unemployment Benefits This Month | Radio KHNS
Unemployed residents of Skagway are getting an extra financial boost this winter with up to $ 2,400 per month in municipal unemployment benefits. The money for the program comes from a donation made last year by Norwegian Cruise Lines. The deadline for depositing the first round of payments is Monday afternoon.
Last fall, the Skagway assembly decided that about a quarter of the cruise line’s $ 2 million giveaway should be made available to the community in the form of unemployment benefits. These will be in addition to any state or federal government benefits.
Assembly member Reba Hylton said the money would help seasonal workers struggling to survive financially with the significant drop in cruise ship traffic.
“This group of people have been hit very hard by the pandemic, obviously if you work seasonally it’s because you work directly with something related to cruise ships. And obviously, it’s been a difficult few years. So I’m very happy that this program is being implemented to hopefully help some of the people hardest hit financially by the pandemic, ”Hylton said.
City Treasurer Heather Rodig said anyone who is currently receiving state or federal unemployment benefits, or if those benefits expired on September 1, or if they lost their job due to COVID-19, may be eligible.
“If you are sick from COVID and unable to work, or if the business you work for has been closed due to COVID closures, you can collect based on that,” Rodig said.
This perk was not in the original plan, but as Hylton says, it was a great addition with timely impacts.
“I took the ferry back (from the vacation trip) and there was an active case on the ferry and this person is probably not going to work. And it’s good that they don’t have to worry about that. I mean, getting in and out of here is hard enough like that. But if you work full time and don’t want to use up your vacation days, because it takes a long time to come and go in this community anyway. It’s great that they have a little extra cushion of that money, ”Hylton said.
The program allocates just over $ 100,000 per month. There is a limit of $ 2,400 per month for anyone claiming additional unemployment benefits, and the COVID relief allowance is capped at $ 1,680, which works out to $ 120 per day for up to 14 days.
It’s unclear how many people will apply each month, although city staff are expecting 50 to 100 applicants. If fewer people apply and all the money is not spent, the assembly will determine another way to get the excess money back into the hands of residents who need it.
Rodig says the apps are available right inside the front door of Skagway Town Hall, they are also available on the municipal website Skagway.org. She also says that there are certain documents applicants will need to provide.
“If you are applying based on your unemployment status, we need something from the federal or state agency indicating your unemployment eligibility. If you are applying for a shutdown or sickness, due to COVID, we need a letter from your employer stating the dates you were sick or unable to work due to a closure. And then all applications have to provide some sort of proof of residency which we consider to be your Alaska ID card with a Skagway address or your voter registration, ”Rodig said.
She says applications will be released by the end of each month and the application period will be open until the end of the first week of the following month, with checks cut shortly thereafter.
The eligible months are from December to March and the deadline for submitting the December benefit is Monday, January 10 at 4:59 p.m.