LANSING — The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) announced it has started processing payments for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) for eligible Michiganders. Due to the large volume of payments to be processed, the UIA says workers will begin receiving LWA payments over the next week to 10 days.
Michigan applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund the LWA program, which provides $300 per week to supplement unemployment benefits for those who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. To be eligible for LWA, a person’s weekly benefit amount must be at least $100 (before deductions).
“Initially, eligible claimants will receive LWA for the benefit weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15, 2020,” said UIA Director Steve Gray. “An estimated 910,000 claimants will receive these much-needed additional benefits.”
Workers do not have to file a separate claim or application for LWA. To qualify, the UIA says claimants must self-certify whether they are unemployed due to COVID-19. For those who have already provided a self-certification on their claim filing application, no further action is needed to qualify. All unemployed workers who received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have already completed this step.
Claimants who need to self-certify will receive notification to answer a question in their MiWAM accounts starting this week. If a claimant has chosen to receive U.S. mail, notification will be mailed.
FEMA has recently alerted states that LWA funds will only be available for a total of six weeks. States were initially granted three weeks of LWA benefits and must apply for additional weeks. The UIA has applied for all available weeks of benefits, which will be payable until the week ending September 5.