The state’s Employment Security Department (ESD) paid $625,605,600 in Lost Wages Assistance benefits this week to more than 400,000 eligible claimants.
Lost Wages Assistance is a temporary federal program that provides an additional $300 in unemployment benefits for eligible claimants for the weeks ending Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and Sept. 5, 2020.
“These additional funds to help unemployed workers are welcome – providing much needed assistance to Washingtonians and their families during this crisis,” said ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine.
“It is important to emphasize, however, that this benefit is time-limited to only a six-week period, between July 26 and Sept. 5, 2020, and there is a limited amount of funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. I urge anyone who received benefits during that time to log in to your unemployment account as soon as possible and answer the eligibility question, if you have not yet done so, as you may be entitled to additional money. If you are unsure if this applies to you or you’d like to learn more about the program, go to esd.wa.go/LWA.”
Lost Wages Assistance is not the same as the additional $600 per week that was available under the CARES Act, which expired at the end of July. Lost Wages Assistance has different requirements for eligibility and is drawn from a limited pool of money to be shared among all states that apply and are approved.
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in March, ESD has paid out roughly $10.6 billion in unemployment benefits to Washingtonians, or more than $11 billion when combined with the Lost Wages Assistance funds. For more information on current claimants and claims payments, go to the?benefits data dashboard on the ESD website.