MG Rover workers who lost their jobs after the UK car maker went into administration have received redundancy pay-outs averaging £5,000.
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The payments total £20m and have been speeded up to help families affected, Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt said.
More than 5,000 workers at MG Rover's Longbridge plant in Birmingham have been made redundant, and about 4,000 already have been paid, Ms Hewitt said.
Worker representatives welcomed the move but said more money may be owed.
A spokeswoman for the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) said it was "excellent" that the workers were getting some money. She said the sum - equivalent to about $9,500 - was in line with what had been expected.
However, the spokeswoman said that because of the speed of the redundancies, many MG Rover workers did not get their statutory 90-day notice period and, as a result, were owed money.
Analysts said that the most likely outcome for MG Rover was that the firm would be broken up.
Ms Hewitt said that while there were firms interested in buying MG Rover assets, that would not necessarily help save jobs.
Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) say they have been contacted by 200 firms from around the world interested in buying the assets, divisions and brands of MG Rover.
Newspaper reports over the past couple of weeks have linked MG Rover with possible buyers from countries including China, Russia and Iran.
Speaking in the West Midlands as she campaigned ahead of Thursday's general election, Ms Hewitt said that every MG Rover worker who had made a claim received money.
"When I met many of the workers and their families on the day MG Rover went into administration, they asked me to speed the payments up because they were desperately worried about paying mortgages and other commitments," she explained.
"I am delighted that we have been able to meet that request."
The payments will be funded by taxpayers and are part of a £150m support package pledged by the government.
Ms Hewitt said that the total redundancy package paid out to workers will be close to £50m.