To ease the economic burden for those struggling with lost wages due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been authorized to expend funds from the Disaster Relief Fund for lost wage payments as a result of COVID-19. The Lost Wages Assistance program (LWA) supplements the payment of lost wages $300 per week to claimants who:
LWA is available for a week of unemployment starting the week ending August 1, 2020. If you are eligible, LWA will be paid automatically to you along with your underlying unemployment benefits
The Delaware Department of Labor expects to begin issuing LWA payments to eligible claimants beginning the week of September 14, 2020, on a first-come, first-served basis. The LWA payments will be retroactive to the week ending on August 1, 2020. Because the LWA program has a limited budget, it is uncertain how many weeks will be fully funded and how long the LWA payments will be available.
For the state of Delaware, an eligible individual could receive a $300 benefit in addition to their weekly unemployment benefit. The LWA program has a limited budget, so the length of time the LWA program is available, the amount that is paid out, and to whom will be determined by the number of participating states, the number of payments that go out and how fast the limited federal funds are exhausted.
FEMA grants for lost wages supplemental payments will continue until the earlier of:
If an individual’s claim for underlying benefits and LWA is subject to adjudication or in appeal status when the LWA program ends, then the individual will not be entitled to LWA payments.
Just once per claim. There is no requirement for weekly LWA self-certifications. You must continue to file your regular weekly claim certifications to receive your unemployment benefits along with any applicable LWA payments.
No additional documentation is required to receive LWA.
Yes. The $100 minimum weekly benefit requirement to receive LWA is calculated before any offsets, including tax withholding, child support deductions, or overpayment offsets, are deducted.
You will receive your LWA payments in the same manner that you receive your other unemployment compensation.
If you are eligible for a weekly benefit of at least $100 in weeks when the LWA is effective from any of the following programs, and you complete the LWA self-certification that you are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, you will be eligible for LWA:
Primarily, the following individuals are not eligible for the LWA benefit:
Yes, the $300 LWA payment is taxable. If you request to have Federal taxes deducted from your benefits, those taxes will also be deducted from the $300 LWA payments. For specific guidance on the tax treatment of unemployment compensation, please contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
If you were eligible for at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefits for any week ending on or after August 1, 2020, but you went back to work before LWA payments were available, you are eligible to receive available retroactive LWA if you self-certify that during those weeks you were unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.