St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The State of Minnesota has begun processing the added payments to people receiving unemployment benefits that were included in the $2.2 trillion federal CARES Act.

The legislation authorizes the payment of $600 in additional weekly compensation to eligible workers displaced by the coronavirus pandemic. Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove says he believes Minnesota is the first state in the nation to process the payments and his agency has already completed around 200,000 applications.

"As soon as the CARES Act became law, our team at DEED got to work putting the technology in place to support these payments and ensure that we were ready to get the money to Minnesotans in need," said Commissioner Steve Grove. "With a record number of unemployment applications, we know this is an uncertain and challenging time for many. It was critical that we act swiftly and provide this additional compensation without delay."

A news release from DEED says all individuals currently receiving Minnesota unemployment benefits will automatically qualify for the additional compensation and will continue to receive their regular unemployment benefits. The first week that eligible workers can receive the extra payments is the week that began on March 29th.

Grove stressed that there is no need for those eligible to contact the agency or do anything to receive the additional $600. He also noted the $600 payments will not show up the online unemployment accounts and those receiving the payments will only see them on their bank account or unemployment debit card statements.

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