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Worker Rights and Benefits: What is Lost Wages Assistance (LWA)?

What is Lost Wages Assistance (LWA)?

Lost Wage Assistance is a program funded by the federal government and enacted through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which provides additional unemployment benefits to workers receiving some sort of unemployment compensation. LWA works like the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program did under the CARES Act: eligible individuals will receive an additional payment of $300 per week with their weekly unemployment benefit. Ohio received funding to provide payments from August 1, 2020, until September 5, 2020, or 6 weeks of benefits for a total of $1,800. Because the eligible weeks have already passed, the payments will be made retroactively to eligible accounts.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible for LWA?

Generally, if you are receiving some sort of unemployment benefit, like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or traditional unemployment compensation and are unemployed or underemployed due to COVID-19, you will be eligible for LWA.

If I Am Eligible, When Can I Start Receiving LWA Payments?

LWA has not been implemented in Ohio yet – the state is currently creating the system needed to distribute the payments. However, LWA payments will be available for every week an individual was eligible for benefits beginning on August 1, 2020 and ending September 5, 2020. For example, if LWA payments start being made to individuals in October, an individual who has been unemployed since August 1 will also receive back payments for those past weeks.

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