With the expiration of the FPUC program and the $600 weekly payment at the end of July, many unemployed or underemployed individuals were left high and dry until the LWA program was put in place via President Trump’s Executive order. The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program is in effect from August 1st to the last week in December, but per the table below states are now paying out under this program but will likely take several weeks for some state UI agencies – who are administering the payments along with other enhanced benefits – to update their systems and start making payments.
All states that applied and were approved by FEMA were only awarded three weeks of initial funding– covering the weeks of August 1st, 8th and August 15th. FEMA will then approve additional weeks of funding for LWA payments on a week by week basis (states have to apply for this). However any additional funding is subject to the $44 billion budget that is available for this program and it is almost certain that funding will run out before the December 27th expiry of this program, unless Congress approves additional funding via a formal UI benefits extension. At this stage FEMA has advised only a maximum of 6 weeks of funding has been approved for most states.
However the good news per DOL and FEMA guidelines is that, similar to the $600 FPUC payments, this payment will be made retroactive to August 1 (week of July 26th). So even though some states will likely take until late September to make these payments they will be making retroactive back payments back to the first week of August if you qualified for the payment.
Retroactive back payments for the initially funded three weeks will likely be paid in one lump sum – up to $900 if you are eligible for all weeks this program is in effect. Additional retroactive payments will be made for weeks the states have approved funding. E.g states who started paying out in mid-September (like Maryland) made the full $1800 payment to eligible recipients. Retroactive back payments however are not guaranteed for new claimants, those who certify late or those with claim issues, since funding is only provided on a weekly basis by FEMA.
Another important point to note is that unlike the $600 payment, the $300 or $400 LWA payment requires a claimant to be getting at least $100 of unemployment benefits from existing federal and/or state programs. This is significantly different to the $1 requirement for the $600 FPUC program. You will likely need to certify on a weekly or bi-weekly certification period that you meet this minimum threshold to get retroactive payments. The $100 minimum threshold is based on the claimants base period for calculating unemployment insurance benefits. For example in California, a person would need to have earned at least $2,574.01 in a qualifying quarter to receive at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefits from the state.
When do the $300 to 400 unemployment benefit (including retroactive) payments start in my state?
The table below provides the actual and estimated (when no official date available) for when the $300 (or $400 in certain states) payment will be made. This includes retroactive back payments, which will be paid along with regular weekly unemployment benefits. Also its important to know that the $300 payment may be staggered in several states (e.g CA, PA, NY) due to the large volume of claimants. So if you see your state with a status of paying now and a date in the past, just know that your payment is likely scheduled to be processed (assuming you are eligible and had certified) and may take a few days after the listed date. And as always, check your state’s UI portal or official emails for your specific payment details.
|State||Payment Status?||Payment Starts (est)||Weekly Benefit|
|Alabama||Paying Now||Sep 6th||$300|
|Alaska||Payment Pending||Sep 20th||$300|
|Arizona||Paying Now||Aug 17th||$300|
|Arkansas||Paying Now||Sep 12 (up to Oct 2nd)||$300|
|California||Paying Now||Sep 7th||$300|
|Colorado||Payment Pending||Sep 20th||$300|
|Connecticut||Paying Now||Sep 17th||$300|
|Delaware||Paying Now||Sep 18th||$300|
|District of Columbia||Payment Date Confirmed||October 1st week||$300|
|Florida||Paying Now||Sep 8th||$300|
|Georgia||Paying Now||Sep 12th||$300|
|Hawaii||Payment Pending||Early October||$300|
|Idaho||Paying Now||Sep 12th||$300|
|Illinois||Paying Now||Sep 8th||$300|
|Indiana||Payment Date Confirmed||Sep 21st||$300|
|Iowa||Paying Now||Sep 9th||$300|
|Kansas||Payment Pending||Sep 20th||$300|
|Kentucky||Paying Now||Sep 15th||$400|
|Louisiana||Paying Now||Aug 27th||$300|
|Maine||Paying Now||Sep 12th||$300|
|Maryland||Paying Now||Sep 12th||$300|
|Massachusetts||Paying Now||Sep 7th||$300|
|Michigan||Paying Now||Sep 10th||$300|
|Minnesota||Paying Now||Sep 4th||$300|
|Mississippi||Paying Now||Sep 10th||$300|
|Missouri||Paying Now||Aug 23rd||$300|
|Montana||Paying Now||Aug 30th||$400|
|Nebraska||Paying Now||Sep 18th (First 3 weeks)|
From Sep 20th (remaining payments)
|Nevada||Payment Pending||Sep 27th||$300|
|New Hampshire||Paying Now||Sep 12th||$300|
|New Jersey||Payment Pending||Delayed to early October||$300|
|New Mexico||Paying Now||Sep 10th||$300|
|New York||Paying Now||Sep 14th||$300|
|North Carolina||Paying Now||Sep 6th (4 weeks)|
Sep 16th (2 weeks)
|North Dakota||Paying Now||Sep 17th||$300|
|Ohio||Paying Now||Sep 16th (For PUA recipients only); Sep 28th for others||$300|
|Oklahoma||Payment Pending||Sep 20th||$300|
|Oregon||Payment Pending||Sep 30th||$300|
|Pennsylvania||Paying Now||Sep 14th (paid 1 wk after regular benefits)||$300|
|Rhode Island||Paying Now||Sep 6th||$300|
|South Carolina||Payment Pending||Sep 20th||$300|
|South Dakota||No Payment||Did not enroll||-|
|Tennessee||Paying Now||Aug 30th||$300|
|Texas||Paying Now||Aug 23rd||$300|
|Utah||Paying Now||First 3 wks: Sep 9th to Sep 15th|
Second round: Sep 16th to Sep 23rd
|Vermont||Paying Now||Week of Sep 14th||$300|
|Virginia||Payment Date Confirmed||Sep 30th||$300|
|Washington||Payment Date Confirmed||Sep 21st||$300|
|West Virginia||Paying Now||Sep 16th||$400
|Wisconsin||Payment Pending||End of October||$300|
|Wyoming||Paying Now||Sep 13th||$300|
Table Methodology: The LWA state tracker table was last updated on Sep 18th. Payment Start date is when the state actually starts processing current and/or retroactive UI payments OR estimated based on FEMA approval date of LWA grant plus 3 to 5 weeks for state to implement changes. Note: It can take 2 to 4 days after this date for payments to hit your bank account or debit card. Where a state has started paying benefits, you will see the Payment Status column updated to "Paying Now" to reflect this. Please see your state UI website for your specific claim payment status. If you find any mistakes or have updates, please leave a comment below and I will update table to help others.
Because there there is no requirement under the Lost Wages Assistance program that an individual’s job separation be directly related to COVID-19 (indirect association is acceptable under self certification) many more individuals may qualify for this program (vs PUA). The end date for this program, assuming funding is available is December 27th 2020.