UPDATE: Lost Wage Assistance Program payments to be issued tonight

Fri, 09/11/2020 - 10:15am

    AUGUSTA — After saying first payments of Lost Wage Assistance Program will be issued in the coming days, the Maine Department of Labor will be issuing the first round of retroactive $300 payments as part of the new federal Lost Wage Assistance program tonight, Sept. 11.

    Benefits will be paid retroactively starting with the week ending August 1. The first round of payments will include payments for the weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8, and Aug. 15.

    The Department anticipates making payments for weeks ending Aug. 22, Aug. 29 and Sept. 5 next week.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced each approved state will receive enough funds to cover six weeks, and then the program ends.

    Maine was approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Lost Wages Assistance funding which will temporarily add $300 to the weekly unemployment benefits of eligible Mainers.

    The Department expects to issue the first round of payments in the coming days, the release stated. 

    Benefits will be paid retroactively starting with the week ending August 1.

    The payments will be made automatically based on unemployment claims received; individuals will not need to call or apply separately for this benefit.

    Current guidance from FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor states that individuals are eligible for Lost Wages Assistance if:

    • they are eligible for unemployment benefits

    • they are eligible for a weekly benefit of at least $100

    • they are unemployed, or are partially unemployed, as a direct result of the COVID-19

    Answers to frequently asked questions about the LWA program are posted on the Department of Labor’s website: maine.gov/unemployment. It will be updated as more information becomes available.