HARRISBURG, Pa. — As payments for the federal Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) Program began in Pennsylvania Sept. 14, the program had already ended, having run out of funds on Sept. 5.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had provided Pennsylvania $1.5 billion for the program, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s website.
Those funds gave an extra $300 a week in unemployment compensation to those who lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FEMA alerted the state on Sept. 9 that the program would end Sept. 5 due to the fund’s depletion.
Those who were eligibly unemployed during the six weeks the program ran—from the week ending Aug. 1 to the week ending Sept. 5—can still collect their payments.
However it is possible the existing funds can’t cover all applicants and not everyone who qualifies will be paid, state officials warned, as the funds are limited and may run out.
“That’s why we’re encouraging people to apply, apply as soon as you can to get the benefits that are there,” said Pa. Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak.
The LWA certification is separate from Pennsylvania’s regular unemployment compensation program. However applicants can complete the certification in the same application used to file biweekly unemployment claims.