Lost Wages Assistance

Lost Wages Assistance

The Division of Employment Security has received funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay six weeks of Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) to eligible North Carolinians. 

LWA provides a $300 supplemental payment to unemployment benefits for people who have an unemployment benefit amount of at least $100 a week and are out of work due to COVID-19.  

LWA is available for the benefit weeks ending August 1, August 8, August 15, August 22, August 29 and September 5.

FEMA has notified states that funding will not be provided for any additional weeks of LWA.

What is Lost Wages Assistance (LWA)?

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) is a federal FEMA program that provides an additional payment on top of weekly unemployment benefits for those who are eligible. To receive LWA, your unemployment benefit amount must be for at least $100 a week, and you must be out of work due to COVID-19. 

Who is eligible for Lost Wages Assistance?

To receive the $300 in weekly Lost Wages Assistance, you must:

  • Be eligible for a weekly benefit amount of at least $100 for one of the following unemployment programs:
    • State Unemployment Insurance (UI)
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
    • Extended Benefits (EB)
    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
    • Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA)
  • Be unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Note: If you do not receive payment for a benefit week because you earned excessive wages, you will not be eligible to receive LWA for that week.

What do I have to do to apply for Lost Wages Assistance? 

You do not have to file a separate claim or application for Lost Wages Assistance. However, you may need to self-certify whether you are unemployed due to COVID-19 for DES to determine your eligibility for LWA.

If you need to self-certify, you will see a link on the Customer Menu page in your online account to ‘File Lost Wages Assistance Certification.’ If you do not see this link, you do not need to complete this certification. 

When will I receive payment for Lost Wages Assistance?

Lost Wages Assistance payments will be made retroactively to eligible North Carolinians for the benefit weeks ending August 1, August 8, August 15, August 22, August 29 and September 5.

The Division of Employment Security has already issued payments for the first four weeks of LWA. Payments for the fifth and sixth weeks are expected to begin on Sept. 16 and continue over several days.

How long is Lost Wages Assistance available?

LWA is available for six weeks—the benefit weeks ending August 1, August 8, August 15, August 22, August 29 and September 5.

The length of the LWA program was determined by the availability of federal FEMA funds for benefits. North Carolina applied for and received funding for all of the weeks of benefits FEMA provided to the states.