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Lost Wages Assistance Program: A Lifeline During Crisis - An In-Depth Guide

Lost Wages Assistance Program helps and supports its eligible claimants. It prioritizes unemployed individuals who lost their respective jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The said program provides financial assistance for its beneficiaries that can help with their cost of living amidst the crisis. Specifically, the Lost Wages Assistance Program provides $300 supplemental payments that will be added for the benefits of individuals with other unemployment assistance.

The financial assistance that can get from the said program can last for almost 6 weeks straight. The said program acts as additional and supplemental support for U.S. citizens. This program will be a huge aid for each eligible beneficiary, especially for individuals who are suffering from financial hardships. Moreover, the assistance will help unemployed individuals to start again and find another job to recover from the vast impact of the pandemic.

FEMA & Lost Wages Assistance Program

The Lost Wages Assistance Program was created when former U.S. President Donald Trump authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Moreover, the LWA Program was enacted last August 8, 2020.

With FEMA, there’s an allocated budget of $44 billion from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Disaster Relief Fund for the assistance of lost wages. When FEMA was approved, it started to provide assistance for each beneficiary all over the United States. Eligible individuals had the chance to apply and get financial assistance from the government.

However, as the Lost Wages Assistance Program is national, it was handled by the local government from each state of the United States. Different states have their own rules and regulation regarding LWA Program.

Financial assistance that beneficiaries can get from the Lost Wages Assistance Program is not given cash. It was added to the other unemployment benefits of individuals such as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment CompensationPandemic Unemployment Assistance, and other unemployed grants.

LWA Program assisted and helped millions of U.S. citizens to recover from the pandemic in terms of financial stability.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for Lost-Wages Assistance must meet the eligibility requirements. Individuals who do not meet the program's qualifying requirements are automatically disqualified. However, the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program does not require specific rules, there are just some certain requirements that applicants need to have.

The eligibility rules for the program can be found in the list below.

  1. Must have a one-time self-certification that will prove your unemployment as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
  2. Must be qualified for other unemployment assistance programs and receives a minimum of $100 for these programs.
    • DC Unemployment Insurance (UI)
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
    • Extended Benefits (EB)
    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
    • Shared Work (Short-Time Compensation)

Application for the Lost Wages Assistance Program

There’s no specific application method for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program. If you indicated on your other unemployed benefits that your current status is unemployed, you will automatically receive additional supplemental financial assistance from the said program.

However, if you did not indicate that you’re unemployed, you must pass your Self Certification of Unemployment. The submission of the said certificate can be done online. Refer to the steps below for the submission process.

  1. Navigate to the website
  2. Choose your Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
  3. Go to the sub-category and select Payments.
  4. Choose the Lost Wages Assistance Program, Self-5. Certification (Ask EDD).
  5. Follow the provided steps for submission.
  6. Click Continue to submit your Self Certification of Unemployment.
Required Documents

The LWA Program does not require various documents to apply for it. The Unemployment Assistance Program of an individual is the important one. Self Certification of Unemployment would just be required if a beneficiary did not indicate his/her unemployment status within the program. If you’ve indicated your unemployment status, no other documents are needed.

Also, remember to check whether your local state participates in the said program. For more information regarding the Program, you may visit the FEMA website.

Participating States

Not all the states of the United States applied for the Low Wage Assistance Program. Furthermore, there are also U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia associated with the LWA Program.

Below is the list of the states that participate and their date declaration for the said program.

From the data above, South Dakota is the only U.S. state who did not participate in the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program. It was announced by Governor Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR).

This means that residents of South Dakota are not eligible for financial assistance from the said program. Furthermore, South Dacota also terminated its participation through other federal programs such as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

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