Colorado Approved for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program

 

 

(DENVER) – Today, Wednesday, August 19, 2020, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced Colorado’s application for the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program was approved and the Department has now begun a system reprogramming effort to administer the new benefits.

On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order authorizing FEMA to expend up to $44 billion from its Disaster Relief Fund to provide lost wages assistance to Americans receiving unemployment benefits. While Colorado has not yet finalized the amount of its LWA payments, the program will provide eligible Coloradans with an additional $300 on top of their regular unemployment benefits, with an additional $100 should states be able to identify state funds.

The Department has begun reprogramming its systems to include the new benefits and estimates that claimants will begin receiving LWA benefits in mid to late September. For those who are eligible, payments will be retroactive to the week beginning July 26th and will extend through the week ending August 15th. Colorado’s application for Lost Wages Assistance has been approved initially for this three-week period. The Department will communicate to claimants should Colorado be approved for additional weeks of LWA benefits.

Claimants do not have to take any action to receive the additional benefit amount provided by the LWA program. The additional benefits will be added automatically for all claimants who are eligible to receive at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefit payments. This includes claimants receiving any type of regular unemployment insurance benefits as well as those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.

“This additional benefit of $300 per week will put at least $265 million into the hands of our unemployed workforce who have been impacted by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, and provides critical support during this time of extreme need,” said Joe Barela, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

FAQs:

•When will claimants see their LWA benefit payment? -/- We anticipate mid-September

  • Does the state plan to pay individuals the $100 match under the federal program? -/- That is undecided at this time.
  • How long will the funds last? -/- Colorado, like all states that have applied thus far, has been awarded three weeks of funding at this point (covering July 26th- August 15th). FEMA is waiting to see how many states in total apply (application period ends Sept 10th) before allowing states to request additional weeks. It is not certain that this will be limited to just three weeks, we may not know that for some time.
  • Do claimants need to take any action to receive the new benefits? -/- Claimants do not have to take any action to receive the additional benefit amount provided by the LWA program. The additional benefits will be added automatically for all claimants who are eligible to receive at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefit payments. This includes claimants receiving any type of regular unemployment insurance benefits as well as those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.
  • How many people will not be eligible for the benefits due to the $100/week requirement? -/- About 6% of claims are less than $100 making those claimants ineligible. We have approx. 300,000 active claims so give or take 28,000.

 

 

 

Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeaturedMedia Release

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