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Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance Guidelines

To ease the economic burden for those struggling with lost wages due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, President Donald J. Trump authorized FEMA to expend up to $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund for lost wage payments.

FEMA will provide grants to participating states, territories, and the District of Columbia (hereinafter “states”) to administer delivery of lost wages assistance for which they will receive an additional amount up to 5% of the total grant award to cover their administrative costs, subject to the cost share.

The President's authorization for FEMA to use the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) to supplement the payment of lost wages as a result of COVID-19 is in addition to the $8.8 billion FEMA has already obligated to date in the fight against COVID-19.

The President has authorized the FEMA Administrator to provide grants to the states to make supplemental lost wages payments to those receiving unemployment insurance compensation, in accordance with section 408(e)(2) and (f) of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. §§§ 5174(e)(2), (f)).

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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. Individuals inquiring about supplemental lost wages payments should contact their state unemployment office.

Process Overview

A state may request assistance by submitting an application for a grant award to administer the supplemental payments for lost wages.

FEMA has provided states with complete instructions, required forms, and recommended templates to support the application process. These materials are currently available on FEMA.gov and Grants.gov.

In making a request, the state government must submit the following to FEMA:

  • Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance
  • SF-424A Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs
  • Provide a weekly benefits and claimant projection for each category of benefits listed for eligible individuals
  • SF-424B Assurances for Non-Construction Programs
  • Grants.gov Lobbying Form
  • SF-LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities
  • FEMA Form 010-0-11: Individuals and Households Program - Other Needs Assistance Administrative Option Selection that includes the correct selections for an ONA Lost Wages Grant
  • Indicate selection of $300 or $400 weekly supplemental lost wages payment to eligible individuals
  • New State Administrative Plan

Upon approval, FEMA will obligate funds to the state, which will administer the lost wages payments in conjunction with its respective unemployment office. States may provide supplemental lost wages payments to eligible individuals retroactively, beginning with the week of unemployment ending August 1, 2020.

Funding Duration

FEMA grants for lost wages supplemental payments will continue until any of these conditions are met:

  1. FEMA has expended $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF).
  2. The DRF balance reaches $25 billion.
  3. Enactment of legislation providing supplemental Federal unemployment compensation, or similar compensation, for unemployed or partially employed individuals due to COVID-19.
  4. The program end date of no later than December 27, 2020.

FEMA grant funding to each state will be based on the state’s projected estimate of the amount of lost wages supplemental payments to be made per week, the estimate of eligible claimants, and a planning estimate for the state, inclusive of FEMA’s budgetary authority.

Eligibility

A state may provide supplemental lost wages payments from the week of unemployment ending August 1, 2020, to individuals (“claimants”) currently eligible for at least $100 per week in unemployment insurance compensation from any of the following:

  • Unemployment compensation, including regular State Unemployment Compensation, Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Extended Benefits (EB)
  • Short-Time Compensation (STC)
  • Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA)
  • Payments under the Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program

Claimants will be required to self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the initial unemployment insurance claims process and or required weekly recertifications.

Cost Share

States may provide claimants a lost wages supplement of up to $400, composed of a $300 federal contribution from the Disaster Relief Fund and an additional amount up to $100 from state funds.

The state-funded portion may be sourced from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security fund allocation. The total lost wages supplemental payment may not exceed $400.

States may instead provide claimants the lost wages supplement of $300 paid entirely from the $300 federal contribution and satisfy the match, with no additional state payout, by leveraging existing state funding used to pay regular state unemployment benefits. In this case, the state must demonstrate at the aggregate level that the total of its state-funded unemployment benefits to claimants receiving the lost wages supplement were at least 25 percent of the total lost wages assistance benefits paid in conjunction with all of the unemployment programs listed above.

Lost wages payments must be administered and delivered by states pursuant to grant agreements with FEMA, in conjunction with the state’s unemployment insurance system.

Since states are administering the grants, if a claimant is denied a lost wages payment states will use their existing policies and processes for adjudicating appeals from individuals denied unemployment insurance benefits. States are also responsible for recovering improper lost wages payment benefits from claimants. FEMA will not administer benefits directly to claimants.

Applying Through Grants.gov

States must apply for this grant through the Grants.gov portal.

  • To access application forms and instructions, from the portal homepage, select “Applicants” then “Apply for Grants.”
  • Enter funding opportunity ID DHS-20-ONA-050-00- 99, select “Download Package,” and then follow the prompts to download the application package.
  • The application package should include all required forms. Review the list of required forms and attachments and ensure all are included when you submit the application.

Grants.gov provides applicants 24/7 technical support via the toll-free number 1-800-518-4726 and email at support@grants.gov.

States with questions regarding the intersection of this grant with state unemployment benefit programs can contact the Department of Labor at covid-19@dol.gov.

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Review the Grants.gov User Guide for instructions on registering and applying.

Required Forms and Attachments

Applications must include:

Download Required Forms from Grants.gov

State Administrative Plan

Attach a signed State Administrative Plan to your application. The plan should detail the methods used to implement standard Unemployment Assistance, and the supplemental payments for lost wages, as applicable.

States are encouraged to use the recommended template.

FEMA Form 010-0-11

Attach a completed FEMA Form 010-0-11: Individuals and Households Program (IHP) - Other Needs Assistance Administrative Option Selection to your application.

The form should include the correct selections for a grant to administer supplemental payments for lost wages.

  • On page 1, complete the STATE/INDIAN TRIBAL GOVERNMENT SELECTION AND LINE ITEM MAXIMUM Section.
    • Fill out the name of the requesting state in the first line.
    • Select the “STATE/INDIAN TRIBAL GOVERNMENT OPTION” box.
    • Select the “The State/Indian Tribal Government approves the additional ONA Personal Property and/or Miscellaneous items” box.
    • The governor or designee must sign and date the appropriate box at the bottom of page 1 under STATE/INDIAN TRIBAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORIZING SIGNATURE.
  • On page 3, complete the ADDITIONAL ONA ITEMS Section.
    • In the first box under ADDITIONAL ONA ITEMS include the following information:
    • Line Item: Write “Individual Weekly Supplemental Lost Wages Benefit -- $300 or $400.
    • ONA Category: Write “Miscellaneous”.
    • Standard Quantity: Write “1”.
    • Maximum Quantity Awarded: Write “N/A”.
    • Justification/Situations for Use: Write “Supplemental payments for lost wages needed as a result of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, as authorized by the Presidential Memorandum on Authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for Major Disaster Declarations Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019.”

Additional Week Request Process

States, territories or District of Columbia may submit the following Lost Wages Additional Week Request documentation to FEMA at FEMA-LWA-Reporting@fema.dhs.gov:

States/territories are expected to have already received an initial grant award from FEMA before submitting a Lost Wages Additional Week Request.

States/territories should submit Lost Wages Additional Week Request documentation for one week at a time. No more than one week shall be submitted on each Lost Wages Additional Week Request template. FEMA will process these requests within 3 business days.

  • FEMA will review requests at the end of each week of eligibility. For example, the earliest FEMA will review a request for a fourth week of additional payments is August 22nd. The earliest FEMA will review a request for a fifth week of additional payments is August 29th. The earliest FEMA will review a request for the sixth week of additional payments is September 5th.

The state/territory does not have to disburse all benefit payments and administrative costs provided in the initial obligation prior to submitting a Lost Wages Additional Week Request.

The Lost Wages Additional Week Request Template asks state/territories to identify any excess Lost Wages Assistance benefit payment funds the state/territory may have received from FEMA in previous obligations.

  • A state/territory may have excess funds if the estimated number of claimants used to calculate previous obligations was higher than the actual number of eligible claimants paid.
  • If the state/territory has not yet identified excess funds this information does not need to be provided.
  • Any excess funds from previous obligations will offset the Lost Wages Additional Week Request.

If the state/territory has paid out benefits to claimants prior to submitting a Lost Wages Additional Week Request, the state/territory must provide the Lost Wages Weekly Report that includes the total, weekly dollar amount of actual lost wages benefit payments made to eligible claimants, paid by program in order to receive additional funding (refer to the Lost Wages Weekly Report Template).

The SF-424A to be included with the Lost Wages Additional Week Request documentation should only include one week’s worth of expenses.

Lost Wages Reporting Requirements

States and territories who have received a grant award for supplemental lost States/territories who have received a grant award for supplemental lost wages payments need to provide a Lost Wages Weekly Report that includes the total, weekly dollar amount of actual lost wages benefit payments made to eligible claimants, by program, the number of appeals for the underlying benefits received by claimants, and any pending claims. The state/territory must use the Lost Wages Weekly Report Template for the weekly submission.

  • The template asks states/territories to provide the total number of open appeals, and the number of new appeals for the reporting period.
  • If the state/territory does not have up-to-date appeals data for this reporting period, FEMA will accept the most recently reported appeals data provided to the U.S. Department of Labor.  If this is the case, please provide the report as an attachment with the Lost Wages Weekly Report Template.
  • The template also asks states/territories to provide the total number of any pending claims, and the number of new pending claims for the reporting period.

If the state/territory has not yet paid out lost wages benefit payments, the state/territory will need to provide FEMA with the total, weekly number of unemployment benefit claims paid, by program, as well as the number of open appeals and pending claims.

State/territories will need to provide the SF-425, Federal Financial Report (to view the file, right-click and save) to FEMA quarterly.

All reports should be provided to FEMA at FEMA-LWA-Reporting@fema.dhs.gov.

Grant Closeout

  • In compliance with the grant award and 2 C.F.R. § 200.343, the state/territory has a duty to reconcile costs and payments, resolve negative audit findings, and submit final reports to FEMA no later than 90 calendar days following the end date of the period of performance, unless FEMA has approved a state’s/territory’s written extension request.
  • States/territories are responsible for recovering assistance awards from claimants who obtained them fraudulently, assistance awards made to those not eligible for unemployment, and assistance awards made in error. (44 C.F.R. § 206.120(f)(5); see also 2 C.F.R. § 200.345(a) (establishing that “any funds paid to the non-Federal entity in excess of the amount to which the non-Federal entity is finally determined to be entitled under the terms of the Federal award constitute a debt to the Federal Government”)). Adjustments to expenditures will be made as funding is recovered and reimbursed to FEMA and reported quarterly on the SF-425, Federal Financial Report. (See 44 C.F.R. § 206.120(f)(5)(i)).
  • FEMA recognizes the states’/territories’ efforts to investigate and pursue the recovery of fraudulent and improper payment investigations may extend beyond the allowable 180 calendar days from the end of the Period of Assistance.  For this reason, FEMA may extend the Period of Performance upon request. Adjustments to expenditures will be made as funding is recovered and reported to FEMA on the quarterly Federal Financial Report. (See 44 C.F.R. § 206.120.(f)(5)(i)).
  • The states/territories shall also provide an inventory of equipment purchased with grant funds for purposes of administering supplemental lost wages. (44 C.F.R. § 206.120(f)(4)). In addition, 2 C.F.R. § 200.313 (equipment) requires maintenance of property records and these records must be maintained in accordance with 2 C.F.R. § 200.333 and be made available to FEMA and the DHS OIG upon request (2 C.F.R. § 200.336). Any costs associated with equipment would have been included with the administrative costs requested.  

The lost wages assistance program has two concurrent 90-day periods to both close out and liquidate the grant following the end of the Period of Performance. See 2 C.F.R. § 200.343(a)-(b).  These periods close – unless extensions are granted – 90 days after the Period of Performance ends. One requires states/territories to submit their close out reports (2 C.F.R. § 200.343(a)), the other requires the state/territory to liquidate all obligations under the Federal award (2 C.F.R. § 200.343(b)). Both periods can be extended. See id. (a)-(b).

Once the Period of Assistance terminates, no additional funding will be provided by FEMA in grant awards or amendments for benefit payments or administrative costs. However, during the grant award’s Period of Performance, the state/territory may incur allowable costs under the LWA program, (2 C.F.R. § 200.309) including issuance of supplemental payments to eligible claimants who submitted timely claims during the Period of Assistance, issuance of payments to applicants whose appeals were decided in their favor, and incur administrative costs previously awarded. In other words, during the Period of Performance:

  • States/territories may continue to issue LWA payments to claimants for the weeks they were eligible within the Period of Assistance and who submitted timely claims during the Period of Assistance. States/territories may only issue these payments if they have funding available within the total obligation awarded by FEMA.
  • With regard to appeals, states/territories may pay applicants for weeks within the Period of Assistance following appeals that are decided in the applicants’ favor during the Period of Performance if funding is available within the total obligation awarded by FEMA.

FEMA acknowledges that states/territories may not be able to administer payments to all eligible applicants who submitted timely claims or adjudicate all timely appeals during the initial Period of Performance. For this reason, states/territories may request extensions of the Period of Performance, if necessary, to fully administer the LWA program, make all eligible payments within the total obligation awarded by FEMA and pursue recovery of fraudulent and improper payments.

Graphic
A timeline related to lost wages assistance, depicting the period of performance, period of assistance and 90 days following the period of performance

Related Content

Lost Wages Assistance Approved States

FEMA Supplemental Lost Wages Payments Under Other Needs Assistance FAQ

Last updated September 15, 2020