Frequently Asked Questions About Receiving Supplemental Payments for Lost Wages

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The COVID-19 incident period ended on May 11, 2023. FEMA will continue to provide funeral assistance until Sept. 30, 2025, to those who have lost loved ones due to this pandemic.

Get started with our resources on Lost Wages Assistance:

You can also browse our collection below for answers to frequently asked questions about receiving supplemental payments for lost wages.

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States and territories with questions about the grant and how to administer the program can contact the FEMA Individuals and Households Help Desk.

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Under a presidentially declared major disaster designated for Individual Assistance, a state, tribe, or territory may request Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). DUA is funded by FEMA, and implemented by FEMA and the Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA). DOL-ETA works with the State Workforce Agencies to provide unemployment assistance to survivors who are unemployed or unable to access their jobs due to the disaster and who both meet all eligibility requirements for DUA and are ineligible for any other unemployment benefits from the state. 

The only category of ONA authorized by the President for COVID-19 declarations is supplemental lost wages payments. Authorization of additional assistance remains under consideration.

States, territories and the District of Columbia must provide the following forms available to download and submit with instructions at the SF-424 Forms Repository:

  • Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance
  • SF-424A Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs
  • To include a weekly benefits and individual projection for each category of benefits listed in the description of “eligible individuals” provided
  • SF-424B Assurances for Non-Construction Programs
  • Lobbying Form
  • SF-LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities
  • Attachments Form
    • Complete this form by attaching a signed State Administrative Plan which includes relevant state, territory and the District of Columbia procedures for grant administration and FEMA ONA Option Selection Form 010-0-11

Presidential Memorandum

The supplemental lost wages assistance program must terminate immediately if legislation providing supplementary unemployment benefits (e.g., an extension to the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program) is enacted. The question of funds being recollected cannot be answered without knowing what any new enacted legislation includes.

Yes, the state, territory and the District of Columbia must contact an individual who is potentially eligible for supplemental lost wages assistance to allow him or her to submit a self-certification that his or her unemployment or partial unemployment is due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes all individuals who meet the $100 eligibility provision for weeks of unemployment ending on or after August 1, 2020. States, territories and the District of Columbia must describe their approach to these notifications in the State Administrative Plan required as part of their grant application.

Additionally, since supplemental lost wages assistance is retroactive, an individual who was previously unemployed or partially unemployed as a result of COVID-19, but now is employed may still be eligible for supplemental lost wages assistance for the period after August 1, 2020 until he or she regained employment. Since these individuals are no longer filing for unemployment benefits, the state, territory and the District of Columbia must reach out to the individuals about his or her potential eligibility for supplemental lost wages assistance. The state/territory may use administrative costs awarded for conducting this outreach.

There is no required mechanism to notify potentially eligible individuals. States, territories and the District of Columbia, however, are strongly encouraged to provide easy-to-understand information regarding supplemental lost wages assistance, including:

  • The steps individuals must take to satisfy the self-certification requirement, and
  • That it is important for individuals to respond immediately.

The funding will be provided to existing and new claimants for unemployment compensation who self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed as a result of COVID-19 from the week of unemployment ending August 1, 2020 through December 27, 2020 or until termination of the program because funding is exhausted.

For example, bank expenses that come from the same day ACH for the Unemployment Insurance Benefit.

Yes, bank expenses incurred are an allowable expense as part of the administrative costs for the Supplemental Lost Wages Assistance. During closeout of the Lost Wages Assistance award, the state, territory and the District of Columbia should account for these costs when they submit the necessary documentation to reconcile administrative costs.

Yes, insofar as the dependent’s allowance is paid using state, territory and the District of Columbia funds to an eligible claimant, it is included in the aggregate calculation of state-funded benefits for purposes of meeting the state’s 25% cost share match to provide the $300 supplemental lost wages payment.

Offsets of supplemental lost wages payments other than for tax withholding are not permitted. States, territories and the District of Columbia may not offset supplemental lost wages payments for child support debts. See information on overpayment recovery above.

Any recipient may request to closeout LWA prior to the POP end date. Once a state, territory or the District of Columbia is ready to closeout LWA, or within 90 days after the end of the Period of Performance (unless extended), they must send the following in order to closeout LWA:

  • Final letter to FEMA requesting closeout (no standard template necessary);
  • The final SF-425 Federal Financial Report (FFR);
  • The final progress report detailing all accomplishments and impacts, describing the overpayment waiver process, and including a breakdown of total claimants, total benefit paid, total number and amount of overpayments, and total number and amount of overpayments waived by week of assistance and program to which the LWA benefit was applied.
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