FEMA ends Lost Wages Assistance Program

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency ended its Lost Wages Assistance Program. This provided an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits to qualified claimants in West Virginia and other states.

WorkForce West Virginia will continue to pay eligible claimants for as long as existing FEMA funds are available. The agency is unable to extend the additional benefits beyond the benefits week ending on Sept. 5, 2020.

“Losing this extra $300 a week will certainly create hardships for people who’ve lost wages due to COVID-19, but folks can be assured that WorkForce West Virginia will continue to distribute regular state benefits and any remaining federal benefits available through the CARES Act,” said Scott Adkins, acting commissioner for WorkForce West Virginia.

On Aug. 27, WorkForce West Virginia was awarded a grant through the Lost Wages Assistance Program, which used $44 billion in FEMA Disaster Relief Funding to provide an additional $300 a week to eligible claimants starting on the benefits week ending on Aug. 1. WorkForce West Virginia will continue providing retroactive payments to eligible claimants from that week forward, in addition to regular state benefits and the extra $100 made available through the state’s allocation of the federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Other provisions of the CARES Act do not expire until December 26, 2020. This includes Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

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