$300 or $400 Extra Weekly Unemployment Retroactive Payments under Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) Program


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.

The table is updated regularly as new information comes to hand. You can also follow my Facebook and Twitter feeds for micro real-time updates.

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StatePayment Status?Payment Starts (est)Weekly Benefit
AlabamaPaying NowSep 6th$300
AlaskaPayment PendingSep 20th$300
ArizonaPaying NowAug 17th$300
ArkansasPaying NowSep 12 (up to Oct 2nd)$300
CaliforniaPaying NowSep 7th$300
ColoradoPayment PendingSep 20th$300
ConnecticutPaying NowSep 17th$300
DelawarePaying NowSep 18th$300
District of ColumbiaPayment Date ConfirmedOctober 1st week$300
FloridaPaying NowSep 8th$300
GeorgiaPaying NowSep 12th$300
HawaiiPayment PendingEarly October$300
IdahoPaying NowSep 12th$300
IllinoisPaying NowSep 8th$300
IndianaPayment Date ConfirmedSep 21st$300
IowaPaying NowSep 9th$300
KansasPayment PendingSep 20th$300
KentuckyPaying NowSep 15th$400
LouisianaPaying NowAug 27th$300
MainePaying NowSep 12th$300
MarylandPaying NowSep 12th$300
MassachusettsPaying NowSep 7th$300
MichiganPaying NowSep 10th$300
MinnesotaPaying NowSep 4th$300
MississippiPaying NowSep 10th$300
MissouriPaying NowAug 23rd$300
MontanaPaying NowAug 30th$400
NebraskaPaying NowSep 18th (First 3 weeks)
From Sep 20th (remaining payments)
NevadaPayment PendingSep 27th$300
New HampshirePaying NowSep 12th$300
New JerseyPayment PendingDelayed to early October$300
New MexicoPaying NowSep 10th$300
New YorkPaying NowSep 14th$300
North CarolinaPaying NowSep 6th (4 weeks)
Sep 16th (2 weeks)
North DakotaPaying NowSep 17th$300
OhioPaying NowSep 16th (For PUA recipients only); Sep 28th for others$300
OklahomaPayment PendingSep 20th$300
OregonPayment PendingSep 30th$300
PennsylvaniaPaying NowSep 14th (paid 1 wk after regular benefits)$300
Rhode IslandPaying NowSep 6th$300
South CarolinaPayment PendingSep 20th$300
South DakotaNo PaymentDid not enroll-
TennesseePaying NowAug 30th$300
TexasPaying NowAug 23rd$300
UtahPaying NowFirst 3 wks: Sep 9th to Sep 15th
Second round: Sep 16th to Sep 23rd
VermontPaying NowWeek of Sep 14th$300
VirginiaPayment Date ConfirmedSep 30th$300
WashingtonPayment Date ConfirmedSep 21st$300
West VirginiaPaying NowSep 16th$400

WisconsinPayment PendingEnd of October$300
WyomingPaying NowSep 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.

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258 thoughts on “$300 or $400 Extra Weekly Unemployment Retroactive Payments under Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) Program

  1. Im from NY and my 3 weeks of backpay for the 300 showed released yesterday which means i would ahve had this morning but me and a few other people i know didnt get it this morning and we all got our regular payments this week on tuesday like normal.

    1. According to NY DOL – The first round of LWA payments has been released for those who were pre-qualified and those who certified by 5 pm on 9/15.

      If you do not see that your payments have been released in your online Payment History, you may have to certify for LWA eligibility. After certifying, payments will be released in 1-2 business days if you are eligible.

      Reminder: Like with traditional UI and PUA benefits, after a payment has been released, it typically appears in your bank account or on your debit card in 1-2 business days.

      If you do not see these funds after 1-2 business days, please contact your bank.

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