Inslee announces one-time payments for pandemic unemployment recipients

Gov. Jay Inslee announced a one-time $550 payment for nearly 95,000 Washingtonians claiming unemployment benefits from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. 

Inslee made the announcement Sunday in response to President Trump's delay in signing the federal Covid-19 relief package, which extends unemployment assistance for people who normally would not qualify - like independent contractors and self-employed workers.

RELATED: Trump signs COVID relief bill granting stimulus checks, jobless benefits

Trump signed the bill a few hours after Inslee's news release, but the signature came a day after the pandemic unemployment assistance expired. Millions of out-of-work Americans will not receive an unemployment check this week because of the lapse. 

The federal relief deal extends unemployment assistance through March 14, 2021. 

"It is extremely unfortunate that the president has missed the deadline and allowed much-needed unemployment benefits to lapse for struggling workers and families," Inslee said in the news release.

Inslee said the state anticipated the lapse in the relief bill. The state will pay $54 million to 94,555 people in Washington later this week. The Employment Security Department will administer the payments.