FEMA Lost Wages Program - Eligibility Check


FAQs for returning back to work here

What are the eligibility requirements

  • Your weekly benefit amount that shows on your MAIN PAGE of EDD has to be $100 or more

  • You have to have received money from UI, which means you still qualify if you received $10 from one week due to working

  • You must attest that you are partially or fully unemployed due to COVID-19

How will payments be issued for LWA?

  • It is possible to get deposits of $900, $600, or $300 depending on how you certified and what weeks your certification falls on

  • Those who have opted to receive paper checks will receive LWA payments through check

When does it start? How long will it last?

  • LWA is retroactive to the certification week ending August 1, 2020. 

  • CA is approved for five weeks, pending a sixth. The first week starts with the week ending August 1, 2020.

What if I have a WBA of 90 - 99? Are they doing anything for us? Why did I qualify for the $600 before and not this?

  • CARES Act is different from LWA and they both operate with different rules and eligibility requirements. EDD is simply following the rules of what LWA requires. See question prior for what the rules are.

  • If you have a problem with it, contact your government officials and push them to pass a stimulus like CARES as well as backdating it to these dates. Information to contact government officials here.

What if I worked during those weeks? Do I qualify?

  • If you worked between July 26 and August 15 -- as long as you received $1 from your UI benefits, you will get the LWA (assuming you meet the other eligibility requirements)

  • If you had excessive earnings, were fully employed, or disqualified -- YOU DO NOT QUALIFY FOR LWA

When will Lost Wage Assistant Program begin?

  • EDD says payments will start September 7, 2020 in PHASES

How do you apply?

  • You don't. If you qualify you get it. See eligibility question.

Who does Phase 1 cover?

  • Claimants who previously provided info that they were unemployed due to COVID-19 on their initial application

  • Those who have already received their regular state or federal unemployment payments for weeks between July 26 and August 15

  • EDD plans on finishing payments for this group by week ending in 9/26

Who does Phase 2 cover?

  • Claimants who did not have the opportunity to indicate they were unemployed due to COVID-19 reason on their initial application and still meet the $100 WBA eligibility requirement

  • EDD will send notifications to claimants to complete a one-time self-certification to inform if they were unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, beginning September 15. CHECK YOUR ONLINE PORTAL

  • Once claimants get notification, submit your self-certification through your UI Online account for faster processing



Did CA get approved for five weeks?

  • Yes. They are paying out the first three weeks. The additional two will be distributed after Phase 1 and Phase 2 are done.

  • CA is also pending a sixth week approval.

Will the additional federal benefit be retroactive?

  • Yes, eligible claimants can receive benefits retroactively from week ending August 1, 2020.

Whenn does it start/end?

  • EDD expects to start payments in phases September 7, 2020

  • CA has been approved for five weeks, pending a possible sixth


How much is coming from the federal government?

  • The memorandum mandates "75% Federal cost share be made available for lost wages assistance to eligible claimants"

  • Also states Secretary of Homeland Security "shall approve a lost wage assistance program that authorizes the Governor to provide $400 payment per week, which shall reflect a $300 Federal contribution"



Can California afford to pay the 25% (or $100 of the $400)?

  • There have been a few articles where Newsom has said they do not have the funds to make up for the state portion of what the executive memorandum suggests

  • Sources here and here

Will the Congress be back in session?

  • You can see floor proceedings here


Memorandum in detail, here

FEMA Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance, here

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