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Department of Labor issues Lost Wages Assistance Program guidance

National News

In this May 7, 2020, photo, the entrance to the Labor Department is seen near the Capitol in Washington. The record unemployment rate reflects a nation ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, the economic devastation upending the presidential campaign and forcing President Donald Trump to overcome historic headwinds to win a second term. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTEN) – The U.S. Department of Labor has released guidelines to help states implement the Lost Wages Assistance Program, which provides claimants with up to $400 in additional unemployment benefits.

President Trump introduced LWA on August 8, to replace the additional $600 federal unemployment benefit, which expired July 31.

Claimants in most Unemployment Insurance programs will receive up to $400 per week additional benefits, starting with weeks of unemployment ending on or after August 1, 2020, and ending December 27, 2020 at the latest.

To qualify, individuals must self-certify they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and their state must confirm that the individual is receiving at least $100 in unemployment benefits.

For a state to become eligible, it must cover 25% of the cost ($100 per claimant) and the federal government will cover the remaining 75% ($300 per claimant). States have the option of doing this by allocating their Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), provided under Title V of the CARES Act or other state funding. States may also choose satisfy the 25 percent state match, without allocating additional state funds, with the state funding used to pay regular state UI unemployment benefits.

“With the expiration of FPUC, LWA will provide important assistance to workers who need it. This program is another tangible example of this Administration’s commitment to helping Americans during these challenging times. The Department and our partners at FEMA will work tirelessly in the coming, days and weeks to ensure LWA’s vital and important benefits are made available to those most in need.”

John Pallasch
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training

The program may end before December 27 if FEMA expends the $44 Billion which has been allocated, or the Disaster Relief Fund is reduced to $25 Billion.

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