As talks between the White House and Congressional Democrats over a new coronavirus relief measure continue to stall, Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) payments have become a lifeline for those economically struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
He “authorized FEMA to expend up to $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund for lost wage payments,” FEMA reported and according to his August 8 memo, individuals would only be considered eligible if they had already been receiving at least $100 per week in unemployment benefits.
This article contains when each state has distributed (or plans to distribute) LWA payments.
FEMA Announced That Funds Would Be Limited to 6 Weeks
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that a FEMA spokesperson said, “Regardless of where the states and territories are in their process to receive and distribute the FEMA funding, FEMA will fund six weeks in $300 supplemental unemployment benefits to every state and territory that has applied for this assistance by September 10.”
According to CBS News, the program’s six-week measure — which doubled from its original three-week guarantee — was based on “Department of Labor and state projections.”
Two coronavirus measures from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act — the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program and the Extended Benefits (EB) program — are expected to receive an increase in recipients as LWA funding runs out.
Here’s Where Each of the 50 States Stand on Lost Wages Assistance Payments
The following list is in alphabetical order:
Alabama’s Department of Labor announced that it was going to begin distributing $300 per week. The payments were only approved for four weeks of benefits, the weeks ending August 1, 8, 15 and 22.
Alabama’s Extended Benefits program kicked in when the weekly unemployment rate reached 6.11% on May 31. The labor department recently reported that the program, which had expired on September 12, was extended to October 3.
Alaska first received its LWA grant on August 23, according to FEMA.
A press release from the governor noted that funds would likely take eight weeks before they could be dispersed. That press release reported that 88,000 Alaskans had received unemployment since March 1.
FEMA reported that Arizona was one of the first states to receive a grant for LWA on August 15.
According to Arizona’s Department of Economic Security, the program ran from August 1 to September 5 and provided up to $540 a week in unemployment. Starting with the week ending September 12 and onward, residents under regular unemployment, PUEC and EB will range $187-$240.
Arkansas received its LWA grant August 25, FEMA reported. Arkansas’ Division of Workforce Services said that it would begin distributing payments during “the second week of September” and not start any later October 2.
FEMA reported that California received its grant on August 21.
California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) announced that it would deliver $300 per week between July 16 and August 15.
A September 10 press release indicated that more than $80 billion had been paid in unemployment benefits and the state has received more than 10 million applications for COVID-related unemployment relief from March 14 to September 5. EDD reported that it has a phase two, during which unverified claims will be handled before two more LWA payments are distributed; the department also said that it was applying for a sixth week of payments.
Colorado’s approval for LWA was announced by FEMA on August 16.
However, The Denver Post reported that the first round of LWA payments were just sent out Friday, September 18. According to that article, officials announced that the state received $553 million for six weeks of payments. The Post had previously reported that on September 16, California’s Department of Labor and Employment temporarily shut down its certification tool due to glitches, then reopened it.
FEMA reported that Connecticut received an LWA grant on August 24.
Governor Ned Lamont reported that a total of six weeks of $300 LWA payments would be made for the weeks beginning August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. The first payment was scheduled to go out around September 17.
“We urge claimants to self-certify for Lost Wages Assistance – it will offer much-needed additional assistance to our unemployed workforce,” Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said in a statement.
Delaware received its LWA grant from FEMA on September 2.
Delaware’s Department of Labor announced that it would begin sending out payments during the week beginning September 14. The state’s Department of Labor secretary, Cerron Cade, noted that the benefit was “time-limited” and urged that those eligible to apply do so promptly.
The state of Florida received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 29.
According to one document from Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity, the payments would be retroactive for the weeks between August 1 and August 22. Some in Florida, however, have expressed frustration that it has taken so long for Floridians to receive the funds and to apply for the program in the first place.
NBC Miami reported that Javier Rodriguez, a State Senator representing District 27 said, “There’s a lot of frustration as to why the state of Florida waited so long. States like Arizona and Texas applied almost immediately, got the three weeks and were able to deploy it and are already applying for additional weeks for FEMA to approve.”
According to Saving to Invest, payments started going out on September 8.
Georgia received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 23.
In an FAQ from Georgia’s Department of Labor, officials announced that eligible unemployed people would receive funds for six weeks; one payment would be for the weeks ending August 1 through to September 19. The department announced in a press release that it had issued a total of $463 million in payments to 564,613 people in the first three weeks that the LWA program was active.
FEMA announced that Hawaii received its LWA grant on August 29.
Hawaii’s unemployment insurance reported that it was distributing LWA payments for five weeks, from August 1 to August 29. The department stated, “We will start processing payments for this new program in October.”
FEMA announced that Idaho received its LWA grant on August 19.
Idaho’s Department of Labor reported that its state was slated to receive five weeks of LWA payments. The first four weeks were supposed to be issued on the week ending September 5. The Ontario Argus Observer reported that the state paid out $41.6 million in LWA payments.
Illinois received its LWA grant from FEMA on September 1.
Illinois’ Department of Employment Security announced that it would work “as hard and quickly as possible to distribute LWA as soon as grants funds are received.” The department noted that 55,000 unemployed Illinois residents would be excluded from the LWA program because they did not meet the $100 threshold.
The state just received $1.3 billion for Illinois residents to receive LWA payments, according to a press release from Illinois’ Department of Economic Security. The press release reported that payments had begun being disbursed on September 6 and would retroactively be paid for the weeks between July 26 and August 15.
FEMA announced that Indiana received its LWA grant on August 21.
WBOI reported that Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development planned on issuing payments on September 21. However, the requirement that unemployed people receive a minimum of $100 in unemployment benefits means anywhere from 25,000 to 30,000 Indiana residents are excluded from LWA.
FEMA announced that Iowa was one of the first states to receive an LWA grant on August 15.
Iowa’s Workforce Development announced that LWA payments would be distributed “in 5-7 business days” from the date of the press release, September 3.
Kansas received its LWA grant from FEMA on September 7.
Kansas reported in a press release that it received $63 million for LWA benefits, but Ryan Wright, the state’s acting secretary of labor, emphasized that it was impermanent. “This program is not a permanent solution, and during these difficult times we implore Congress to come together and act to fund permanent unemployment solutions for all individuals and families in need across the country,” Wright reported.
Kansas’ Department of Labor reported that it would begin disbursing benefits in “late September” at the earliest.
FEMA announced that Kentucky received its LWA grant on August 21.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Kentucky distributed three weeks of retroactive payments.
Kentucky is one of the few states opting to chip in an additional $100 to make the total weekly amount $400. The Courier-Journal reported that Governor Andy Beshear said, officials were considering on whether to request additional weeks.
Louisiana was one of the first states to receive its LWA grant from FEMA on August 15.
The Advocate reported that 350,000 Louisianans received LWA payments and began receiving payments during the last week of August. The Commission’s spokesperson, A.J. Sabine, said, “Individuals should check their bank accounts to see when they are paid. There is no designated ‘day’ when eligible claimants should expect the LWA payment.”
The Advocate reported that Louisiana’s Workforce Commission distributed $279 million in LWA payments.
Maine received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 15.
Maine’s Department of Labor reported that LWA payments would cover the weeks between August 1 and September 5. The state reported that it would issue payments on September 11.
FEMA announced that Maryland received its LWA grant on August 19.
The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment announced that it was launching its system for certifying everyone’s claims on September 21. The site reported that “LWA supplemental payments will not be made until you have completed the self-certification.”
FEMA reported that Massachusetts received its LWA grant on August 21.
Massachusettes’ Department of Unemployment Assistance announced that it delivered its final LWA payment on September 11. The payments were retroactively made from August 1 to September 5.
Michigan was granted its LWA funds from FEMA on August 21.
Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency announced that it would begin processing payments between September 17 and September 20. The agency’s director, Steve Gray, said in a press release that 910,000 people were receiving the LWA benefits.
FEMA announced that Minnesota received its LWA grant on August 29.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported that it was approved to distribute six weeks of payments from July 26 to September 5. According to its schedule, the first payment was delivered on September 4 and the last payment was delivered on September 13.
The Minnesota Star Tribune reported that 330,000 Minnesota residents would likely receive the LWA payments.
Mississippi reported that it received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 22.
Mississippi’s Department of Economic Security reported that it would begin making the $300 payments 3-4 weeks after August 20th, which is roughly between September 10 or September 17. According to the site, it was still finalizing technological updates to make the payments available.
The site reported, “Some claimants may begin seeing their first payment by September 19, 2020.”
FEMA announced that Missouri was approved for LWA payments on August 16.
Missouri’s Department of Labor reported that it was the third state to process LWA payments, which it began distributing on August 23.
The state delivered a total of $230 million in payments for six weeks from August 1 to September 5, the department reported in a press release.
Montana received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 18.
Montana’s Department of Labor & Industry reported that it was delivering $400 payments and began issuing payments on August 26. A total of $31.3 million were distributed on that day and payments were delivered for four weeks.
FEMA announced that Nebraska received its LWA grant on September 9.
Nebraska’s Department of Labor reported that Nebraska would begin distributing funds on September 21. “It is important that individuals complete the LWA certification as soon as notification is issued since this program is retroactive and limited funds are available to states,” Commissioner of Labor John H. Albin said in the press release.
FEMA announced that Nevada was approved for LWA payments on September 11.
Nevada, the last state to apply for the LWA program, is expecting to be able to deliver retroactive payments from August 1 for at least three weeks, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
FEMA announced that New Hampshire received its LWA grant on August 24.
New Hampshire Employment Security reported that LWA payments were issued for the weeks between August 1 to September 5.
FEMA announced that New Jersey was approved for LWA payments on September 4.
According to a CBS New York article written on September 16, New Jersey was one of the states which had not yet received payments to deliver LWA. Insider NJ reported that the state had been approved for five weeks and had been approved for a sixth.
New Mexico was one of the first states to receive its LWA grant from FEMA on August 15.
New Mexico’s Department of Workforce Solutions reported that it started processing LWA payments on September 3 and would be delivering payments for the five weeks between July 26 and August 29.
New York received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 23.
Local news station News-10 reported that New York’s Department of Labor distributed $1.9 billion in LWA payments.
The state is to provide six weeks of unemployment supplements and the Department of Labor reported that it plans to pay in two rounds. News-10 reported that those who are certified to be eligible for a second round of payments would receive those payments in the last week of September.
FEMA announced that North Carolina received its LWA grant on August 21.
North Carolina’s Division of Employment Security reported that it started issuing payments on September 3 and the payments would be for August 1, 8 and 15. The division also said that it had spent nearly $64 million on the LWA program since March 15 and was requesting funds for more weeks.
North Dakota was one of the received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 31.
North Dakota’s Job Service reported it expected its technological infrastructure to be ready to deliver payments in mid-September.
FEMA announced that Ohio received its LWA grant on August 26.
Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services reported that LWA payments would be distributed “over a period of six days ending on September 21.”
Oklahoma received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 18.
Local news station FOX-25 reported that Oklahoma would begin distributing payments during the week of September 21. The executive director of Oklahoma’s Employment Security Commission, Shelley Zumwalt, said that the state had been approved for the full six weeks of payments.
Oregon was approved by FEMA for LWA payments on August 28.
KTVZ reported that David Gerstenfeld, the acting director of Oregon’s Employment Department, said on September 11, “Claimants eligible for LWA can now self-certify for these benefits online, ensuring they’ll receive LWA payments in the coming weeks. After a stressful week for Oregonians, on top of nearly six months of stress and uncertainty, we are glad to have launched the program that will allow us to get these urgently needed benefits out.”
FEMA announced that Pennsylvania received its LWA grant on August 24.
The Office of Unemployment Compensation in Pennsylvania reported that it received $2.8 billion for LWA payments to be distributed for six weeks from August 1 to September 5. Local news station FOX-43 reported that payments began being delivered on September 14.
FEMA announced that Rhode Island was approved for LWA payments on August 22.
Rhode Island’s Department of Labor and Training received three weeks of funding for LWA payments and would begin distributing those payments on September 12, GoLocalProv reported.
South Carolina received its LWA grant from FEMA on September 1.
South Carolina’s Department of Employment and Workforce announced that it was approved for LWA funding for the first three weeks in August and has requested funding for three additional weeks, according to local news site WLTX-19.
In a press release, the department said it would likely start distributing payments during the fourth week of September.
The department’s spokeswoman, Heather Biance, told the news site, “As we stated when approved by FEMA, it will take a few weeks to implement this new federal program in our system. As with all the federal programs we’ve implemented under the CARES Act, it takes time to configure and test the system to ensure accuracy and compliance with both FEMA and DOL standards.”
South Dakota was one of the only states to turn down LWA funding, as Forbes reported. Even though the state’s governor, Kristi Noem, has been a strong Trump supporter, she said the state didn’t need the funds because it never ordered mandatory closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is part of Noem’s statement:
My administration is very grateful for the additional flexibility that this effort would have provided, but South Dakota is in the fortunate position of not needing to accept it. South Dakota’s economy, having never been shut down, has recovered nearly 80% of our job losses. South Dakota is the only state in the nation that didn’t have extended benefits kick in because our insured unemployment rate has been the lowest in the nation. We have the third best housing construction market in the country. And many, many businesses are looking to relocate to South Dakota because of the decisions we made during the pandemic. South Dakota is open for business – that applies to our business owners and their employees.
FEMA announced that Tennessee received its LWA grant on August 22.
Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported that it would distribute payments for the weeks between August 1 and September 5. According to the press release, “Retroactive LWA payments will be delayed by two weeks or more after the week ending date because of the time involved in the approval process for funding, the eventual allocation of funding from FEMA, and then the time it takes the state to process payments.”
Local news station WKRN reported that Tennessee received $236 million to distribute LWA payments on August 24.
Texas received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 21.
The Texas Workforce Commission reported that LWA payments would last six months and would be limited to the weeks ending August 1 to September 5.
It’s unclear when payments started, yet local news stations, such as ABC-13, reported that Texans had begun receiving the funds. For those who have not, Texas Workforce Commission Executive Director Ed Serna told news station KHOU-11, “We will get everybody caught up. We will go back to that July 26-Aug. 1 week, and we’ll start paying the $300 every week to qualified individuals.”
Utah received a grant for LWA August 16, according to FEMA.
Utah was approved for LWA payments between the weeks of July 26 and September 5, according to an FAQ fact sheet. The state reported that it delivered one payment between September 9 and September 15 for the weeks from July 26 to August 15, and it would deliver another payment between September 16 and September 23 for the weeks from August 16 to September 5.
Vermont received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 22.
Vermont’s Department of Labor reported that residents would receive funds for at least the first three weeks of August. In an update, the state’s Department of Labor reported that it would begin issuing benefits on September 14.
FEMA announced that Virginia received its LWA grant on August 26.
Virginia announced that it planned to pay out LWA benefits for the week ending the first three weeks of August, with additional payments dependent on if the funds are available. The Virginia Employment Commission reported that it expects its website to be available to begin processing and distributing payments on September 30.
Washington was approved by FEMA for LWA payments on August 24.
Washington’s Employment Security Department reported that it would begin disbursing payments on September 21. The state was approved for five weeks of LWA payments and the state’s Employment Security Department spokesperson, Clare DeLong, said that the state was applying every week, according to the Kent Reporter.
FEMA announced that West Virginia received its LWA grant on August 27.
On September 9, West Virginia’s governor, Jim Justice, reported that the state would begin sending out $400 payments during the week of September 14, roughly two weeks after their application was approved.
Scott Adkins, the acting commissioner of WorkForce West Virginia, said in the same statement, “If you’re eligible for all five weeks, you’ll get a single check or a single deposit in your account for $2,000, minus any taxes you have chosen to withhold.”
FEMA announced that Wisconsin was approved for LWA payments on September 1.
Wisconsin Public Radio reported that Wisconsinites can expect to receive a total of $1,800 in LWA payments. Caleb Frost, the Department of Workforce Development’s secretary, said that eligible people would only see payments in early or mid-October.
Wyoming received its LWA grant from FEMA on August 28.
The Gillette News-Record reported that Wyoming had begun issuing LWA payments as of September 15.
Wyoming’s Department of Workforce Services had said on September 9 that it was “in the final stages of program implementation and payments will be provided to eligible individuals in the coming days.”
This list is current as of September 17-19, 2020.