Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Overpayments to be Forgiven

Updated Feb 2022] The National Association of State Workforce Agencies, which represents all unemployment agencies, has requested that states UI agencies be held harmless for unrecoverable LWA overpayments as long as good faith efforts are being made to recoup improper payments.

Given how rapidly the LWA program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), was instituted to provide a supplemental UI benefit after the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) lapsed, many agencies were unable to provide proper controls. Hence they are asking for a waiver.

[Updated Aug 2021] With the rapid spread of the Delta strain and prospects of an economic slowdown heading into the winter months, government leaders are having serious discussions at the federal and state levels keep some or all of the pandemic unemployment programs in place through at least the end of 2021.

Since it is highly unlikely Congress (who are in recess now) will be able to pass any bills ahead of the Sep 6th pandemic unemployment programs funding expiration, there is talk of the Biden administration repurposing some of existing ARPA stimulus bill funding to extend unemployment programs to the end of the year.

This is similar to the 6-week LWA extension that then President Trump did by executive order in September 2020 (see update below) when Congress could not agree on funding the first extension to the original CARES act stimulus.

If Congress cannot provide additional funding then I think this will be the most likely path for a short term “emergency” extension of pandemic benefits and could be done relatively quickly along party lines.

Note that states which had ceased participation early in the federally funded unemployment programs will need to reapply to get access to this short term extension, if indeed it is passed.

I’ll continue to post updates as more information comes to hand and you can stay connected via email or follow us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube

Original LWA program Update

The $300 (or $400 in some states) weekly unemployment benefit under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program has now been approved across all eligible states that have applied and has started hitting people’s bank accounts or debit cards. This includes retroactive payments to August 1st, the official start date of the program.

While this supplementary payment, in addition to regular state unemployment benefits, is a much needed benefit for eligible unemployed or underemployed workers there is now a lot of concern that funding for this program is about to run out. In fact because of the delayed roll out of this program, some states have already exhausted their LWA allocation funding.

As a reminder, FEMA guidelines for this program, state that the LWA weekly payments will continue until any of these conditions are met:

  1. FEMA has expended $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) or the DRF balances reaches $25 billion.
  2. Enactment of legislation extending unemployment benefits due to COVID-19.
  3. The program end date of December 27, 2020 is reached.

The first item is the biggest constraint and FEMA has already confirmed (via the AP) that all states that apply for grants will only receive funding for a maximum 6 weeks (weeks of August 1st to Sep 5th). Once funding runs out, the payments will cease and only regular or some enhanced benefits (PUA, PEUC, EB) will be available.

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) State Payment Date and Status

StateLWA StatusStart DateMax WeeksWeekly Amount
AlabamaPaidSep 6th6$300
AlaskaPaidNov 6th
(see estimate details)
ArizonaPaidAug 17th6$300
ArkansasPaidSep 12 (up to Oct 2nd)6$300
CaliforniaPaidSep 7th (Phase 1)
Sep 15th (Phase 2)
ColoradoPaidFrom Sep 18th
(in batches)
ConnecticutPaidSep 17th5$300
DelawarePaidSep 18th6$300
District of ColumbiaPaidFrom Sep 28th
(in batches)
FloridaPaidSep 8th4$300
GeorgiaPaidSep 12th6$300
HawaiiPaidSep 23rd
(see schedule)
IdahoPaidSep 12th6$300
IllinoisPaidSep 8th6$300
IndianaPaidWeek of Sep 21st6$300
IowaPaidSep 9th6$300
KansasPaidFrom Oct 6th
(see schedule/details)
KentuckyPaidSep 15th6$400
LouisianaPaidAug 27th6$300
MainePaidSep 12th6$300
MarylandPaidSep 12th (schedule)6$300
MassachusettsPaidSep 7th6$300
MichiganPaidSep 10th6$300
MinnesotaPaidSep 4th6$300
MississippiPaidSep 10th6$300
MissouriPaidAug 23rd6$300
MontanaPaidAug 30th6$400
NebraskaPaidSep 18th (First 3 weeks)
From Sep 20th (remaining payments)
NevadaPaying 5th and 6th weeksFrom Oct 20th (First 3 weeks)
From Nov 11 (Last 3 weeks)
(see DETR updates)
New HampshirePaidSep 12th6$300
New JerseyPaidFrom Oct 22nd
(see more details)
New MexicoPaidSep 10th6$300
New YorkPaidSep 14th6$300
North CarolinaPaidSep 6th (4 weeks)
Sep 16th (2 weeks)
North DakotaPaidSep 17th6$300
OhioPaidFrom Sep 14th (on PUA)
From Sep 20th (others)
OklahomaPaidSep 23rd6$300
OregonPaidOctober 2nd6$300
PennsylvaniaPaidSep 17th (first 3 wk batch)
Sep 24th (second 3wk batch)
Rhode IslandPaidSep 6th6$300
South CarolinaPaidSep 25th
(7 to 14 days processing)
South DakotaNo PaymentDid not enroll6-
TennesseePaidAug 30th6$300
TexasPaidAug 23rd6$300
UtahPaidSep 9th to Sep 23rd
(paying in batches)
VermontPaidWeek of Sep 14th6$300
VirginiaPaidOct 19th
(see payout details)
WashingtonPaidSep 22nd6$300
West VirginiaPaidSep 16th6$400

WisconsinPaidFrom Oct 22nd6$300
WyomingPaidSep 13th6$300

Payment Start date is when the state actually started processing LWA 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. 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.

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Florida has only applied for 4 weeks of the program even though 6 was available. See more in this article.

Texas (TX) Notifies Claimants that FEMA Funding for LWA Program Has Ended

From the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) – Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has notified TWC that the last week of funding for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program was the benefit week ending September 5, 2020. FEMA previously approved TWC for six weeks of funding from August 1, 2020, through September 5, 2020 for the Lost Wage Assistance $300 benefit program but has now been provided notification that no additional LWA payments will be allowed for weeks subsequent to September 5, 2020.

For what weeks did TWC receive funding? TWC received funding for the weeks of:

  • August 1, 2020
  • August 8, 2020
  • August 15, 2020
  • August 22, 2020
  • August 29, 2020
  • September 5, 2020.

TWC will continue to pay eligible claimants for the approved six weeks, for as long as the existing FEMA funds deposited to TWC remain available.

Arizona (AZ)

Arizona Central reports that more than 400,000 Arizonans receiving unemployment benefits need to prepare for the $300 supplement in those payments to end abruptly, perhaps as soon as September 13th.

“Unfortunately, we are going to have very little notice when this happens,” AZ DES Director Michael Wisehart said. “And so it is likely that the ($300) benefit will stop abruptly for individuals.”

Arizona has authorization from FEMA to pay the supplement the current week (starting Sep 5th) and is working on FEMA authorization to pay it next week, a sixth week. The payments cover the previous week of missed work, so the “sixth week” of payments would cover work people missed in the current week, from Aug. 30 through Sept. 5. 

Montana (MT) LWA Funding Ending per FEMA notification

Like Texas, the Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) has also been notified by FEMA that their LWA funding has run out and the week ending September 5, will be the last week paid.

DLI began issuing $400 weekly payments to eligible claimants on August 26, 2020. FEMA funded $300 of the weekly payment and Montana contributed another $100 from its CARES Act relief funds.

LWA payments were authorized by FEMA to approved states on a week to week basis. Montana was awarded LWA funding in increments, the first covering three weeks of payments from benefit week ending August 1, and the next three covering benefit weeks through September 5, 2020. No LWA payments will be made beyond the six-week period.

Georgia Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program paying a maximum of $1800

WBS-2 Atlanta confirmed that hundreds of thousands of Georgians will start receiving $1,800 in extra unemployment benefits next week (starting September 13th) as part of the Lost Wages Assistance Program. The money will be distributed as six extra payments of $300, spread over two days. The first $900 payment will be distributed and the second $900 payment will be issued by the end of the week.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said anyone who hasn’t gotten money yet under existing PUA, PEUC and EB programs should continue to call and email the Department of Labor. Officials said they are working through a backlog of cases that need more investigation.

Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

As of September 11th, The MA DUA has disbursed the 6th and final Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) $300 supplemental benefit to unemployment claimants in the Commonwealth.

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31 thoughts on “Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Overpayments to be Forgiven”

  1. And the other calamaties befalling our nation. Wild fires, hurricanes, riots, the dog getting out the back door, the slow down in the mail delivery, the need to get the mail in votes out, the govt having to renew it’s funding…. and on and on…

  2. So Virginia will definitely get 6 weeks this is all so confusing I just need to know how many weeks will I get paid for on September 30

  3. What does this mean? I live in NEBR and called the NEBR Dept. of Unemployment and they did not have any information on a second disbursement of $900 for the second three week. This left myself and the other unemployed Nebraskans confused. Can you help clarify this?
    The first disbursement came on Sept 18th, but we have not seen a second disbursment.

    From Sep 20th (remaining payments)
    Thank you.

    • Well, Phooey! Just another economic hardship for us. Thank you for your prompt response. I hope you have a wonderful week.

  4. Ok I’m in Louisiana and the money for my unemployment ran out today or the last week I was getting unemployment since the coronavirus started cuz that’s why I’m not working due to the coronavirus. I refilled my claim or they gonna pick up where they left off or do I have to go through the whole process over and plus I was getting the $300 so will that be also added?

  5. When will VA receive the there back from April 4 – July 25 for the extra $600? Also what about the $300 will I start receiving my $300 towards my $158 this week?

  6. Does anybody know if Georgia already received the second batch of $900 payment? I know we received the first payment at the beginning of this week.

  7. This is confusing. I just want to know if I (Massachusetts resident) will receive the extra 300 this week.. I am receiving PANDEMIC unemployment assistance, but all it says here is people receiving unemployment assistance got their last 300 on the 15th of September, but it doesn’t say that that refers to the people getting PANDEMIC unemployment assistance. Can anybody pls help me understand

  8. What about Philadelphia? I received a message in my PUA portal stating I’m eligible for the back dates weeks in August on 9/11/2020, yet they never told me when they will be available or even how? Can someone please help me figure this out, also they have yet to even update my claims for. Or invoice

  9. I am in georgia and I see I have been given the 900.00 on my ui login on 9/11/2020, but it has not been made available yet? Do i have to wait until Wednesday or why is it not been made available yet?

  10. Ok I’m in Louisiana I gotten the $300 last week I filed this week and I didn’t get the $300 I just got what I normally get for unemployment benefits and the next day they would put the $300 in my account but that wasn’t the case this go round why is that

  11. Why is Colorado taking so long to start its $300 pua payment? Will the funding ran out before the event start?

  12. What is the LWA payment status in Illinois? I know IL was approved on 9/1. It is 9/11 now….wee hours. When are we going to see that money in our bsnk account?

    • Most states are saying it will take 3 weeks to start processing payments from the date fema funds were granted.

  13. What is the status with Louisiana . I received my 900 and I received 300 last week. Nothing this week. If we were approved for 6 weeks I’ve only received 4. When will I receive the other 2. Is it possible this week?


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