The pandemic caused the worst unemployment rates since the Great Depression and while some people are slowly finding new jobs, there are millions who haven't. Making matters worse was the end of the $600 bonus weekly unemployment benefit that was put in place by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. That dried up in late July and since then, Congress hasn't been able to pass a bill that would replace it. However, last month, President Trump authorized FEMA to use $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund for weekly bonus unemployment payments of $300.
It's called Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) but the requirements, timing and payments are different for each state, with one state not doing it at all (South Dakota) and other states kicking in an extra $100 each week. So how do you know if you qualify for the benefit, when you can get it and how much it will be for? Thankfully, there's an online calculator that can tell you all of that. You input the state where you live, what your annual salary was and the number of dependents you have, and without even needing to click a button, you'll know just how much of the benefit you can be getting. The calculator even shows how long the benefit will last for you.
Since more money could potentially be put into Lost Wages Assistance, the calculator also lets you alter the budget numbers for the program to see how long the benefit will last if LWA gets more cash.
Keep in mind, to be eligible for LWA, as of August 1, you have to have gotten at least $100 a week in regular unemployment from your state, or through a program like Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE), Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), or DUA in Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS), Extended Benefits (EB), Shared Work, or Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA).
Also, when submitting your payment request, you must certify that you are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.
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