Kansans may soon be eligible for an expanded unemployment program announced by President Donald Trump earlier this month, Gov. Laura Kelly said Thursday.


Kelly said in a statement that she would be directing the Kansas Department of Labor to apply for the Lost Wages Assistance Program, which would provide eligible residents with an extra $400 per week, with the state providing $100 of that amount.


The state’s share will come from its allotment of federal COVID-19 relief dollars, Kelly spokesperson Lauren Fitzgerald said.


Kelly had previously expressed skepticism of the program, instead pushing for Congress to return to session and hammer out a deal to replenish the earlier Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provided out-of-work residents with a flat $600 a week on top of their usual benefits.


But the governor said in a statement that the Lost Wages Assistance Program would be better than nothing.


"While I had hoped that United States Senate would return early from vacation and extend federal benefits, I could not sit by idly while many Kansans are still facing unemployment," Kelly said. "This is far from a perfect solution, but we want to use every tool available to protect Kansans and our economy."


Thirty-four states have already been approved for the program, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is administering the funds.


Roughly 359,000 Kansans have filed new or continuing unemployment claims since the month began, while the state’s unemployment rate sits at 7.2%.


Officials warned that the money won’t begin flowing to individuals immediately. KDOL staff had previously said that the IT infrastructure to support the new program would take several weeks to build.


In the announcement, the governor’s office cautioned that benefits will start "no sooner than late September."


How long the money will last is also unclear. The initial appropriation from FEMA, which totaled $44 billion, could expire in a few weeks if all 50 states participate.


"We expect this money will go quickly," KDOL Secretary Ryan Wright told lawmakers earlier this month.


Unlike the PUA program, the money will only be available to those who already receive more than $100 in unemployment benefits. Applicants will also have to certify that they lost their job because of COVID-19-related disruption.


For eligible recipients, the payments will also be retroactive to the week of Aug. 1.