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.
Phase 2 Staggered LWA Payments – CA, NY, PA, NC
Due to the volume of payments and the fact that FEMA is approving/funding for remaining weeks (following the initial 3 week grant) several state like California and New York are paying the last few weeks of the LWA program. You can see this noted in the table (where specific dates have been published) and across the many comments below. So if you do see a delay between your first and subsequent rounds of payment it is likely due to the staggered nature of payments. Unfortunately states have not always been clear on the timing for these “phase 2” payments as they are dependent of FEMA approval/funding and internal processing so many eligible claimants are facing delays in getting all their LWA payments.
Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) State Payment Date and Status
|State||LWA Status||Start Date||Max Weeks||Weekly Amount|
|Alabama||Paying Now||Sep 6th||6||$300|
|Mid to late October|
(see estimate details)
|Arizona||Paying Now||Aug 17th||6||$300|
|Arkansas||Paying Now||Sep 12 (up to Oct 2nd)||6||$300|
|California||Paying Now||Sep 7th (Phase 1)|
Sep 15th (Phase 2)
|Colorado||Paying Now||Sep 18th (first 3 wk batch)|
Sep 25th (second 3wk batch)
|Connecticut||Paying Now||Sep 17th||5||$300|
|Delaware||Paying Now||Sep 18th||6||$300|
|District of Columbia||Paying Now||From Sep 28th (paying wks 1 to 4)|
From Oct 5th (paying wks 5 and 6)
|Florida||Paying Now||Sep 8th||4||$300|
|Georgia||Paying Now||Sep 12th||6||$300|
|Hawaii||Paying Now||Sep 23rd |
|Idaho||Paying Now||Sep 12th||6||$300|
|Illinois||Paying Now||Sep 8th||6||$300|
|Indiana||Paying Now||Week of Sep 21st||6||$300|
|Iowa||Paying Now||Sep 9th||6||$300|
|Kansas||Paying Now||From Oct 6th |
|Kentucky||Paying Now||Sep 15th||6||$400|
|Louisiana||Paying Now||Aug 27th||6||$300|
|Maine||Paying Now||Sep 12th||6||$300|
|Maryland||Paying Now||Sep 12th (schedule)||6||$300|
|Massachusetts||Paying Now||Sep 7th||6||$300|
|Michigan||Paying Now||Sep 10th||6||$300|
|Minnesota||Paying Now||Sep 4th||6||$300|
|Mississippi||Paying Now||Sep 10th||6||$300|
|Missouri||Paying Now||Aug 23rd||6||$300|
|Montana||Paying Now||Aug 30th||6||$400|
|Nebraska||Paying Now||Sep 18th (First 3 weeks)|
From Sep 20th (remaining payments)
|Nevada||Payment Pending||Mid to Late October |
(see DETR comment)
|New Hampshire||Paying Now||Sep 12th||6||$300|
|New Jersey||Paying Now||From October 19th |
(see payment details)
|New Mexico||Paying Now||Sep 10th||6||$300|
|New York||Paying Now||Sep 14th||6||$300|
|North Carolina||Paying Now||Sep 6th (4 weeks)|
Sep 16th (2 weeks)
|North Dakota||Paying Now||Sep 17th||6||$300|
|Ohio||Paying Now||From Sep 14th (on PUA)|
From Sep 20th (others)
|Oklahoma||Paying Now||Sep 23rd||6||$300|
|Oregon||Paying Now||October 2nd||6||$300|
|Pennsylvania||Paying Now||Sep 17th (first 3 wk batch)|
Sep 24th (second 3wk batch)
|Rhode Island||Paying Now||Sep 6th||6||$300|
|South Carolina||Paying Now (by check)||Sep 25th (7 to 14 days processing)||6||$300|
|South Dakota||No Payment||Did not enroll||6||-|
|Tennessee||Paying Now||Aug 30th||6||$300|
|Texas||Paying Now||Aug 23rd||6||$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||6||$300|
|Virginia||Paying Now||Oct 19th|
(1 to 3 days to payout - see details)
|Washington||Paying Now||Sep 22nd||6||$300|
|West Virginia||Paying Now||Sep 16th||6||$400
|Wisconsin||Payment Pending||End of October||6||$300|
|Wyoming||Paying Now||Sep 13th||6||$300|
The LWA state tracker table was last updated on October 19th. Payment Start date is when the state actually started processing current and/or retroactive UI payments OR is the estimated date of the first payment processing based on available information. Note: Due to bank processing delays, it can take 2 to 4 days after the noted dates for benefits to hit your bank account or debit card. Where a state has started paying benefits, you will see the LWA Status column updated to "Paying Now." Please see links to more information in the table or your state UI website for specific 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.