The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Delaware’s application to receive Lost Wages Assistance funding from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. On August 8, 2020, President Trump made available up to $44 billion from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to Americans who have lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to apply for and receive approval to provide additional support to Delawareans who have experienced unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cerron Cade, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor. “We want to emphasize that this benefit is time-limited and not everyone who has filed an unemployment claim will be eligible.”
The LWA program was created to provide temporary additional benefits to unemployed workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. LWA benefits are retroactive to the week ending August 1st, and eligible individuals will receive $300 per week in benefits in addition to their regular unemployment benefits. The LWA program and the availability of LWA benefits will end when the first of the following occurs: 1) available federal funding is depleted, 2) federal legislation is enacted to provide unemployment benefits covered, or 3) December 27, 2020.
The Delaware Department of Labor applied for and was approved for the Lost Wages Assistance funding on September 2, 2020. The Delaware Department of Labor expects to begin issuing LWA payments to eligible claimants beginning the week of September 14, 2020. Because funds for the LWA program are limited, it is uncertain how many weeks will be fully funded and how long the LWA payments will be available.
Individuals are eligible for Lost Wages Assistance if all of the following conditions are met:
- Your weekly unemployment benefit amount is at least $100 under regular state unemployment insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or other eligible federal UI programs, and
- You certify that you are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and
- The Delaware Department of Labor determines that you are eligible for an underlying benefit payment for that week, and
- The LWA program has available funding from FEMA.
Benefits will be automatically calculated and distributed based on unemployment claims received; individuals do not need to call or apply separately for this . To receive LWA in a given week, you must receive unemployment insurance benefits of $1 or more for that week. 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.
The Delaware Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance will coordinate with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and FEMA to program, implement, and distribute LWA funds.