Lost Wages Assistance Program

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The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, authorized by the Presidential Memorandum, provides eligible claimants a supplemental payment of $300 per week, for a minimum of three weeks, in addition to their weekly unemployment benefit amount. The payments are for weeks of unemployment beginning July 26, 2020, and will be available for a limited period of time.

Eligibility

To be eligible for LWA payments, you must:

  • Provide, or have provided, a one-time self-certification indicating that you are unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19.
  • Have a weekly benefit amount of $100 or more, even if you received less because you reported wages.

Note: You are not eligible for LWA payments if you are receiving Disaster Unemployment Assistance, State Special School Benefits, or a Training Extension.

LWA Payments

We will process LWA payments in two phases:

Phase 1

Phase one began on September 7, 2020. If you indicated that you were unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19 when filing for unemployment, whether it was regular Unemployment Insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, you will automatically receive LWA payments. No further action is needed.

LWA payments are being issued based on when you certified for regular Unemployment Insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits for the weeks between July 26 and August 15. The payments will be added to your regular unemployment amount for any eligible weeks. Payments will be issued retroactively for weeks that you have already received unemployment benefits, beginning July 26.

How You Will Receive Payment

  • If you submitted your certification for all three weeks at the same time, you will receive one payment of $900.
  • If you did not submit your certification for all three weeks at the same time, you will receive two payments in one of the following ways based on when you certified:
    • A $600 payment followed by a $300 payment.
    • A $300 payment followed by a $600 payment.
  • If you were not paid for one or two of the three weeks due to excessive earnings, being fully employed, or disqualification, you will only receive payment for the weeks paid.

Note: You will be paid by EDD Debit CardSM or checks in the mail based on how you’ve received past benefit payments.

Phase 2

Phase two began mid-September. If you did not indicate that you were unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19 when you filed for unemployment, you must provide a one-time self-certification.

We will contact you using UI OnlineSM as well as by email, text, or mailed notice asking you to provide the information needed to process your payments. Do this as soon as possible. You might not receive LWA payments if you respond late or if the funding for this program becomes unavailable. For faster service and prompt notifications, register in UI Online.

If we find that you are not eligible, you will receive a Notice of Determination for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program (DE 6330LWA).

After phases one and two, we will issue two additional weeks of LWA payments, recently approved by the federal government. These payments will be for weeks of unemployment between August 16 and August 29, 2020. Additionally, California is applying for a sixth week of payments for the week beginning August 30 based upon the availability of federal funds. More information will be provided when available.