Vermont Secures Federal Funding for Increased Unemployment Benefits Through the Lost Wages Assistance Program
Montpelier – Governor Phil Scott today announced that the State has applied for, and received, an initial grant award of $35.8 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the Other Needs Assistance, or Lost Wage Assistance (LWA), program.
“We know that tens of thousands of our neighbors are still struggling through this emergency,” Governor Scott said. “This supplemental assistance offered through President Trump’s Executive Order will help those who haven’t been able to return to work through this difficult period, and we continue to urge Congress and the White House to work together on a longer-term solution for these displaced workers.”
The LWA program provides an additional $300 per week to eligible individuals filing for unemployment insurance. The first round of funding from FEMA covers the initial three weeks of the program beginning with the week ending August 1, at which time, states can apply for additional funding, should the program remain open.
The Department of Labor has begun implementing this program and expects to start issuing payments to eligible Vermonters in the coming weeks.
In addition to the application submitted to FEMA for this benefit, the Governor has requested $20 million in Coronavirus Relief funding from the Vermont Legislature to provide an additional $100 per week to eligible claimants, bringing the total benefit to $400 per week, for three weeks.
“This added benefit is another necessary step as we continue to navigate the uncertainty that this once in a century crisis brings our way. Using Corona Relief Funds to add financial security and peace of mind to those hit hardest by the pandemic is crucial in supporting our economy, communities and families,” Governor Scott added.
Vermont’s application for LWA was authorized under the President’s August 8 Memorandum. The LWA program applies to claimants eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the Traditional Unemployment, PUA, PEUC, or Extended Benefits programs, as of August 1, 2020.
For further information and updates on the Vermont Department of Labor, please visit labor.vermont.gov.