Lost Wages Assistance Program Ending - Last Week for Assistance is Sept. 5

On September 9, 2020 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notified the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry that the last week for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) benefit program is September 5, 2020 due to the fund's depletion.

This is not a decision of the Department of Labor & Industry. FEMA funding for the program will not be provided for weeks after after Sept. 5, 2020 and no additional payments will be allowed for weeks after September 5, 2020.

The federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program provided Pennsylvania $1.5 billion to give an extra $300 a week in additional funds to individuals that are unemployed (or partially unemployed) because of COVID-19 from August 1 through September 5. On August 8, President Trump authorized the Lost Wages Assistance plan.

LWA payments will be paid in one lump sum to eligible claimants for claim weeks ending:

  • August 1
  • August 8
  • August 15
  • August 22
  • August 29
  • September 5

To be eligible for LWA payments:

  • You must be fully or partially unemployed due to COVID-19, and
  • You must have a weekly benefit rate (+ dependent allowance, if applicable) totaling $100 or more, and
  • You must receive a payment each week from one of the qualifying programs:
    • Unemployment Compensation
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
    • State Extended Benefits
    • Shared-Work
    • Trade Readjustment Allowances

You will certify only ONCE for the LWA program. 

Individuals who may qualify for LWA but have not yet received payment for an approved week from a qualifying program should still apply as soon as possible.  

At the time benefits are paid from a qualifying program to an individual for any of the approved dates, the LWA payment will follow one week later if the individual has already completed the LWA certification.

If you are working full time or being paid full time for a week, you are not unemployed and will not be eligible to receive a qualifying program payment or an LWA payment for the week. 

LWA is subject to 10% Federal tax withholding from each payment, if you already chose to have taxes withheld from your regular UC benefits. For information about changing your federal withholding status, visit the L&I Taxes on Benefits page. For specific guidance on the tax treatment of unemployment benefits, contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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