What is the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program?
The Lost Wages Assistance program provides supplemental payments for lost wages nationwide under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (“Stafford Act”). The President has authorized the FEMA Administrator to provide grants to the states to make supplemental lost wages payments to those receiving unemployment insurance compensation following a Presidential Executive order on August 8, 2020.
FEMA and USDOL have informed Iowa that the “Lost Wages Assistance” program has ended. Iowans whose unemployment is the result of the pandemic, and who are eligible for at least $100 in benefits each week, will qualify for up to a maximum of six weeks of $300 in additional weekly benefits. The last week of eligibility for the program is the week ending September 5, 2020. If you are eligible for LWA for any of the 6 weeks of the program, you can still receive those payments as IWD works through issuing retroactive weeks.
Who is eligible?
LWA is available to eligible individuals who are unable to work or on reduced hours directly related to COVID-19. Individuals must also be eligible for a Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) of at least $100 and must also receive at least $1 in benefits for one of the approved programs below:
Unemployment compensation, including regular State Unemployment Compensation, Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX)
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Extended Benefits (EB)
Voluntary Shared Work (VSW)
Trade Readjustment Assistance (TRA)
The LWA program is not available to Iowans receiving the following benefits:
Training Extension Benefits (TEB)
What do I need to do to receive payments?
You do not need to take any action at this time to receive payments from this program. If that requirement changes, UI recipients will be notified if they need to take action on receiving these payments.
When will I receive payments?
IWD will begin processing payments for this benefit program Sept. 3, 2020, and start paying benefits, including retroactive benefits, on Sept. 4, 2020.
Question 1: I was receiving Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC). Am I eligible for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program?
Answer 1: It depends. The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program has different requirements than the FPUC program. FPUC was paid to all individuals that were filing for unemployment insurance and received at least $1 in unemployment insurance payments, regardless of the reason for filing for benefits. The LWA program requires an individual to certify that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Additionally, the claimant must be eligible (before deductions) for at least $100 per week for of any of the following benefits, beginning back to August 1, 2020:
- Unemployment compensation, including Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX);
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);
- Extended Benefits (EB);
- Short-Time Compensation (STC);
- Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA); and
- Payments under the Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program.
Individuals receiving benefits under Training Extension Benefits (TEB) or Business Closing (TEB) programs are not eligible.
Question 2: Will I receive retroactive payments for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program?
Answer 2: If you were eligible for LWA as of the week ending August 1, 2020, you will be able to receive retroactive payments for LWA.
Question 3: If I am eligible to receive LWA, how much will I be eligible for?
Answer 3: $300.00 per week
Question 4: Are taxes withheld for the payment for the LWA program?
Answer 4: If you elected to have taxes withheld from your regular UI benefits, they will also be withheld from your LWA payments.
Question 5: Is child support deducted from the funds I receive through the LWA program
Answer 5: Child support is not deducted from LWA funds.
Question 6: If I have an overpayment, will funds I receive through the LWA program offset to pay back that overpayment?
Answer 6: No, LWA funds will not be used to offset towards an overpayment owed to the state.
Question 7: How long will LWA benefits last?
Answer 7: The LWA program will be available until one of the following occurs:
- The Disaster Recovery Fund that the LWA payments are being issued from reaches a floor of $25 billion.
- Congress enacts UI relief that replaces this payment
- Week ending September 5th, 2020
Question 8: What do I need to do to start receiving LWA?
Answer 8: You should continue to file your weekly continued claim. If any additional action is required, you will be notified.
Question 9: If I return to work prior to receiving retroactive payments on the LWA program, will I still be eligible to receive those payments?
Answer 9: Yes, you will receive LWA benefits for those weeks for which you are eligible under the above referenced criteria.
Question 10: I was terminated from my job for a reason other than COVID-19, am I still eligible to receive the $300 for LWA?
Answer 10: It depends. Individuals are only eligible to receive this payment if they are unable to work, full or part time, for reasons attributable to COVID-19. If the reason for termination is related to COVID-19 (ex: lack of availability due to medical condition, child care or transportation), and you meet the other above referenced criteria, you would be eligible. If you are terminated for other reasons attributable to you (ex: misconduct, attendance, etc), you are not eligible for LWA benefits.