The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR) reports that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has notified the state that the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program for unemployed workers which began on the week ending Aug. 1, would be paid through the week ending Sept. 5, for a total of six weeks.
The LWA provided a $300 weekly federal supplement for eligible unemployed Missourians. DOLIR reports that payments to eligible individuals for the week ending Sept. 5 should be received by the end of this week, and any pending payments to eligible recipients will be paid retroactively as allowed by federal guidelines.
To date, Missouri has distributed more than $230 million in LWA funding to Missouri’s unemployed. Missouri was among the first five states to be approved for LWA funding and was the third state to begin paying the LWA supplement to unemployed workers. These payments began the week of Aug. 23.
The LWA is funded through a grant from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. The President issued an Executive Order on August 8, directing FEMA, with guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, to administer the LWA program.
To receive LWA benefit payments, an unemployed individual must be eligible to receive at least $100 in unemployment benefits per week, and the individual must self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the implementation of the LWA, Missouri continues to be a national leader in meeting the needs of the unemployed. In April, Missouri launched the third federal program under the CARES Act in just under a month of having received its first guidance from the federal government. Additionally, in April, Missouri became one of the first ten states to start processing payments for the self-employed and others through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
For those struggling during this time, the Missouri Service Navigator can help connect individuals and families with vital local services. For more assistance resources and information, visit labor.mo.gov/DES/Claims/public_programs