The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) has begun issuing payments for the $300 per week supplemental Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) to qualifying Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants.
LWA payments are funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). LWA results from a portion of President Trump's Aug. 8 executive order to provide a replacement for the expired Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) supplements.
Unlike the FPUC, however, the funding for LWA is finite. Eligible claimants may receive LWA payments for the weeks ending August 1 through September 6.
LWA payments will be automatically applied to qualifying UI claims, and the payments will be retroactive back to the week ending Aug. 1. To be eligible, a claimant must have been receiving at least $100 in Wyoming UI payments weekly for those weeks covered by the LWA; and the claimant must be unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19. Additionally, because the funding is limited, Wyoming has been authorized for three weeks of LWA payments to its UI claimants. Any further funding must be applied for weekly.
"The requirements of LWA differ from the requirements the FPUC carried," said Holly McKamey Simoni, Workforce Programs Administrator for the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. "Not everyone who is receiving unemployment insurance benefits will receive LWA payments. The program is not designed to be a long-term solution, either, but please be assured that DWS will continue to apply for additional weeks of funding as long as the program remains viable."
Funding for the LWA comes from the Disaster Relief Fund, which also is used to mitigate damage done by natural disasters, such as the hurricanes that are currently threatening the southeast. Due to the danger that funding could run out before the program's sunset date, Simoni urged claimants to continue searching for work.
"The LWA payment will help bridge the financial gap for many people while they continue looking for a job,” Simoni said. "We encourage anyone who would like help finding work to visit one of the 20 Workforce Centers around the state, where we can assist them in searching for jobs that match their skills, updating their resumes, coaching them for job interviews, and more."
To locate the nearest Workforce Center, please visit WyomingWorkforce.org/contact/employment/.