August 18, 2020 – Governor Kay Ivey and Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today that Alabama will submit its application to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program which was created by President Donald Trump’s memorandum earlier this month in response to the expiration of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) $600 weekly benefit in July.
Upon approval, this will allow Alabama to offer an additional unemployment compensation benefit of $300 per week to eligible unemployment recipients. To be eligible for this benefit, recipients must receive at least $100 in an approved Unemployment Compensation (UC) program weekly benefit amount and must certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Payments would be retroactive to August 1, 2020. ADOL will begin issuing the payments following approval and receipt of funds.
“This additional program provided by the Trump Administration provides an opportunity for those who are still struggling with the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to receive a boost in their unemployment compensation,” said Governor Ivey. “While Alabama continues to improve economically, we know that there are those who still need assistance. Alabama will work expeditiously to provide these needed funds as quickly as possible.”
“While Alabama’s unemployment rate continues to improve, and we continue to see declines in the number of people filing for unemployment compensation benefits, unemployment assistance can be a lifeline for those who have not yet returned to work or have had their hours cut significantly,” said Washington. “Alabama is pleased to be able to take part in this program and offer additional assistance to qualified recipients for as long as we are able.”
Funding for this program comes from FEMA disaster relief funds. Guidance from FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that states should be able to receive approximately three weeks’ worth of benefits upon approval, with additional weekly approval being granted on a weekly basis, depending on the remaining balance of the fund. However, funding could end at any time; if FEMA funding is exhausted or the federal government enacts new law, or by December 27, 2020, whichever comes first.
Claimants will be notified by ADOL via their Tracker and email if they are eligible for the payments. LWA payments will be automatically added to existing benefits in the manner in which the recipient is currently receiving them. No additional application will be necessary.
Alabamians who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19 and are currently receiving at least $100 per week in unemployment benefits from one of the following programs will be eligible to receive up to $575 a week, including $300 a week in LWA funds funded by FEMA:
- Unemployment Insurance (UI)
- Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE)
- Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX)
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Extended Benefits (EB)
- Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA)
For more information on unemployment compensation in Alabama, visit www.labor.alabama.gov.
Members of the media seeking more information should contact Communications Director Tara Hutchison.
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