30 states approve $300 in Lost Wages Assistance
By Laila Nashat
States are quickly applying to receive Lost Wages Assistance money to pass on to their unemployed residents. Figure out if your state has applied and how you can receive this financial assistance as soon as possible.
What makes Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) different to Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)?
Under the CARES Act, FPUC offered those unemployed due to #Coronavirus some much-needed financial relief. The goal of FPUC was to cover anyone who lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a $600 per week check for a set duration. Now that FPUC has ended, the unemployed have been left high and dry without this assistance.
LWA, Lost Wages Assistance, is a new program designed to offer some temporary relief to those unemployed, however there are some key differences between LWA and FPUC that you should be aware of if you are in need of assistance.
1. States have to opt in
Unlike FPUC, which was offered nationwide, LWA is a grant from the FEMA budget which individual states have to accept, since it is a reallocation of FEMA funds. If you live in a state that does not accept (the reallocation) and apply to receive a grant from this budget, you will not be able to receive LWA. Because of this, it’s important to track your state’s progress closely to see if this program will be offered in your state.
2. Eligibility for LWA is different from FPUC
FPUC and LWA both require recipients to have been impacted by COVID-19 to qualify, however LWA has stricter eligibility requirements that you should be aware of even if you qualified for and received FPUC.
- You must also already be eligible for at least $100 in unemployment benefits (as opposed to only $1 for FPUC)
- You must be able to prove or “self certify” that your recent job loss was due to COVID-19
These changes could mean the difference between getting LWA and not getting it, so please continue reading for tips on how to prepare if you would like to apply for this program.
3. Experts believe, it’ll be over fast
While FPUC lasted for several months, LWA is only meant to cover those who were unemployed in the month of August 2020. Additionally, states will have to submit their applications for funding before September 10, 2020 to run this program locally. These funds are limited, and funding is being disbursed on a “first come, first served” basis.
This means that if you or your state wait too long to apply for this program, the funds may no longer be available. Even if you successfully get your funds, LWA is not a long term solution for the coming months.
Will my state offer LWA?
A number of states have already lined up to receive funding for the LWA program. Check the table below to see if your state has applied for funding as of today, August 26th, 2020.
|State||Will they have LWA?|
|Delaware||Plans to apply|
|Maine||Plans to apply|
|New Jersey||Haven’t applied|
|North Dakota||Haven’t applied|
|Ohio||Plans to apply|
|South Carolina||Haven’t applied|
|Virginia||Plans to apply|
|West Virginia||Application pending|
Updated August 26th, 2020 at 11:15 am.
How much will my state offer?
If your state applies and is successfully awarded funding for the LWA program, they will be provided with funds to grant $300 per week to people who qualified for the program throughout the month of August.
States can also choose to add an additional $100 per week in benefit payments, from their own state funding (making the total $400/ week), however not all states have the ability to meet this need. You will have to check with your specific state’s #unemployment office to know whether this will be offered.
How can I prepare to receive my LWA?
This program is developing quickly, and in order to know how you can set yourself up to be successful in getting these funds, be sure to do these things:
Track your state’s application status
Once funding comes in, states will begin disbursing to the first applicants who sign up for this program. Be sure to check live news outlets for updates on your state’s application and grant progress for LWA, check your state unemployment office’s website for changes and log in to your own unemployment account to check for any changes or messages.
Check your unemployment eligibility
Because LWA now requires a minimum of $100 per week unemployment eligibility, be sure to check that you have been eligible to receive at least $100 per week during the month of August. If you haven’t been eligible for this amount, you may not qualify for LWA.