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FEMA Ends Lost Wages Assistance Program, State Unemployment Benefits To Continue

On September 9, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) informed the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) that the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, which provided an additional $300 a week to qualified unemployment claimants, ends with the benefit week ending September 5, 2020. Because the funds provided by FEMA were limited, TWC cannot extend payments beyond that date.

FEMA previously approved TWC funding requests for the benefits 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. Claimants will continue to receive average weekly benefit amounts for any benefit weeks for which they are eligible.

The Lost Wages Assistance Program was a temporary provision established after the expiration of the $600 Federal Pandemic Assistance Program, a part of the CARES Act. Other provisions of the federal act do not expire until December 26, 2020. It includes Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides an extra 13 weeks of benefits to persons who exhaust traditional benefits, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). It offers up to 46 weeks of benefits to self-employed persons or who would not otherwise qualify for state benefits.

For more information on eligibility requirements, available benefits, and questions about the unemployment process, visit TWC’s COVID-19 FAQ page.