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Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak announced Pennsylvania will complete implementation of the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program ahead of schedule and begin making payments to eligible individuals on Thursday, September 10, 2020. Individuals who apply and qualify will begin receiving their payments as early as Monday, September 14, 2020.
The federal government requires that only individuals who are fully or partially unemployed due to COVID-19 disruptions may apply for this benefit. To qualify for the extra $300, the LWA program also requires that eligible individuals must have a benefit rate and dependence allowance totaling $100 or more per week in benefits, and must receive a benefit payment for each week from one of the following qualifying programs:
- Regular Unemployment Compensation (UC);
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);
- Pennsylvania Extended Benefits (EB);
- Shared Work or Short-Time Compensation (STC); and
- Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA).
Individuals receiving benefits from these programs, with the exception of PUA and Shared Work, will need to apply for LWA by certifying one time only that their unemployment is due to COVID-19. PUA claimants do not have to apply because they previously certified they were unemployed due to COVID-19 and will receive payments automatically. Employers in a SharedWork program must provide the required certification on behalf of all participating employees.
Beginning after 6:00 AM on September 6, 2020, claimants who need to complete the certification process should visit www.uc.pa.gov/cert and log in using their PIN as if they are filing a biweekly claim. Select the “Complete LWA Certification” button and fill out the certification. Again, this process will only need to be competed one time.
LWA payments will be made for the previous claim weeks below:
- August 1, 2020;
- August 8, 2020;
- August 15, 2020;
- August 22, 2020; and
- August 29, 2020.
Individuals who may qualify for LWA but have not yet received payment for an approved week from a qualifying program should still apply as soon as possible. At the time benefits are paid from a qualifying program to an individual for any of the approved dates, the LWA payment will follow one week later if the individual has already completed the LWA certification.
The temporary LWA program runs through December or until the federal funding is depleted. Pennsylvania will make public announcements when the final payment date is known.
For updates on the LWA program, visit www.uc.pa.gov or follow L&I on Facebook or Twitter.