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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 provided grants to participating states, territories, and the District of Columbia (hereinafter “states”) to administer delivery of lost wages assistance for which they would have received 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 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

States, territories and the District of Columbia requested assistance by submitting an application for a grant award to administer the supplemental payments for lost wages.

FEMA provided states, territories and the District of Columbia with complete instructions, required forms and recommended templates to support the application process. The materials were posted on FEMA.gov and Grants.gov.

When making a request, the state, territory or District of Columbia government submitted 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 obligated funds to the state, territory or District of Columbia to administer the lost wages payments in conjunction with its respective unemployment office. Participating states, territories and the District of Columbia provided 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 was 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

Participating states, territories and the District of Columbia provided supplemental lost wages payments from the week of unemployment ending August 1, 2020, to individuals (“claimants”) 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 were required to self-certify that they were 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

Participating states, territories and the District of Columbia had the option to 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.

Participating states, territories and the District of Columbia had the option  instead to 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

Weekly Reporting Requirement

States and territories who have received a grant award for supplemental lost wages payments are required to provide FEMA 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.
  • The template also asks states/territories to provide the total number of any pending LWA claims, and the number of new pending LWA claims for the reporting period.

If the state/territory has not yet paid out lost wages benefit payments, the state/territory must 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 for the appropriate week.

The Lost Wages Weekly Report should be provided to FEMA at FEMA-LWA-Reporting@fema.dhs.gov.

Quarterly Reporting Requirement

States/territories must submit the SF-425, Federal Financial Report (to view the file, right-click and save) to FEMA on a quarterly basis throughout the grant awards period of performance, including any partial quarters in which the period of performance is open. States/territories must submit the report even if no grant award activity occurs during a given quarter.

In the case of any potential or actual noncompliance, including delinquent reports, a demonstrated lack of progress, or an insufficient detail in the reports, FEMA may place special considerations on an award and/or FEMA may place a hold on funds until the matter is corrected or additional information is provided per 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.207 and 200.338.

The following reporting periods and due dates apply for the SF-425 Federal Financial Report:

Reporting PeriodReport Due Date
October 1 – December 31January 30
January 1 – March 31April 30
April 1 – June 30July 30
July 1 – September 30October 30

The SF-425 Federal Financial Report should be provided to FEMA at FEMA-LWA-Reporting@fema.dhs.gov.

These additional instructions should assist in filling out the SF-425. Additional instructions and directions are provided within the SF-425 itself, and recipients are strongly encouraged to review those directions prior to filling out the form. 

Grant Closeout

  • In compliance with the grant award and 2 CFR § 200.343, the state, territory, and the District of Columbia have a duty to reconcile costs and payments, resolve negative audit findings, and submit final reports to FEMA. (See 44 CRF § 206.120(f)(4)).
  • States, territories and the District of Columbia have an obligation to recover all improper payments, including assistance awards fraudulently obtained and awards made in error. (44 CFR § 206.120(f)(5)). Adjustments to state and territory liabilities arising from recovery of improper or fraudulent payments will be made as those funds are returned to FEMA. (See also 2 CFR § 200.344.)
  • The state, territory, and the District of Columbia shall also provide an inventory which lists the items, dates, and costs 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).
  • FEMA recognizes that states’, territories’ or the District of Columbia’s efforts to investigate and pursue the recovery of fraudulent and improper payment investigations may extend beyond the end of the Period of Performance. Adjustments to expenditures will be made as funding is recovered and reported to FEMA on the Federal Financial Report. (See 44 C.F.R. § 206.120.(f)(5)(i)).

The LWA program Period of Performance includes a 90-day period after the end of the Period of Assistance to allow states, territories, and the District of Columbia to continue to reconcile costs and payments, investigate, and recover improper payments.  Following the end of the Period of Performance, the states, territories and the District of Columbia have two concurrent 90-day periods to closeout and liquidate the grant. (See 2 C.F.R. § 200.343(a)-(b)).  The closeout and liquidation period conclude – unless extensions are granted – 90 days after the Period of Performance ends. States, territories, and the District of Columbia must submit their final reports (2 C.F.R. § 200.343(a)), liquidate all obligations under the Federal award (2 C.F.R. § 200.343(b)) by the end of the closeout and liquidation period.

Upon request, the Period of Performance and the closeout and liquidation period may be extended. (See id. (a)-(b)). The Period of Performance for all states, territories and the District of Columbia ends on March 27, 2021; therefore, the closeout and liquidation period will end on June 27, 2021. To request an extension to the Period of Performance and/or the closeout and liquidation period, the state, territory and the District of Columbia will need to provide a written request to FEMA providing justification for the extension to include any specific data necessary for the request and the timeframe for the extension request. Specific data for a Period of Performance extension request could include the number of claims left to pay, number of appeals being adjudicated, etc. Specific data for a closeout and liquidation period extension request could include the number of overpayments that continue to be collected, the status of final reconciliation of costs, etc. Period of Performance and closeout and liquidation period extension letters should be sent to FEMA-LWA-Reporting@fema.dhs.gov no later than 15 days prior to the end of the Period of Performance or closeout and liquidation period.

The state, territory, and the District of Columbia must complete all closeout actions no later than one year after receipt and acceptance of all required final reports. (2 C.F.R. 200.343(g)).

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

Closeout Reporting Requirements

Within 90 days after the end of the Period of Performance (unless extended), recipients must submit the following:

  1. Final letter to FEMA requesting closeout (no standard template necessary);
  2. The final SF-425 Federal Financial Report (FFR); and
  3. The final progress report detailing all accomplishments to include a breakdown of the expenditures, number of benefit claims paid and administrative costs.  

Final letters to FEMA from the state, territory and the District of Columbia requesting closeout must be sent to FEMA-LWA-Reporting@fema.dhs.gov.

After the award closeout reports have been reviewed and approved by FEMA, a closeout notice will be completed and sent to the recipient. This “closed” notice does not affect: (1) FEMA’s right to disallow costs and recover funds on the basis of a later audit or review. (2) Your obligation to return any funds due as a result of later refunds, corrections, or other transactions including final indirect cost rate adjustments. The closed notice will indicate the ONA Lost Wages Assistance as closed, list any remaining funds that will be de-obligated, and address the requirement of maintaining the award records for at least three years from the date of the final FFR. The record retention period may be longer than three years due to an audit, litigation, or other circumstances outlined in 2 C.F.R. § 200.333. The recipient is responsible for returning any federal funds that they have liquidated but remain unobligated by the recipient. Information on how to return funds to FEMA is available at the Payments page.  

Related Content

Lost Wages Assistance Approved States

FEMA Supplemental Lost Wages Payments Under Other Needs Assistance FAQ

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