Updated October 16, 2020 - 5:00 pm
The $300-a-week payments made available by the Lost Wages Assistance program will soon hit thousands of Nevadans’ bank accounts.
The state Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation said Friday it rolled out the LWA program after it successfuly made payments with a small test run.
“The Department has been working as quickly as possible to make this program available to Nevadans,” said Elisa Cafferata, the acting director at DETR, in a statement.
Payments will automatically appear in eligible accounts retroactive to the week ending Aug. 1.
The agency intended to provide payments to eligible jobless claimants for six weeks retroative to Aug. 1, but the agency said the funding will only last four or five weeks.
Four to five weeks of pay
President Donald Trump signed an executive order in early August that created the Lost Wages Assistance Program with $44 billion in diverted disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Those funds guaranteed states $300 a week to unemployed individuals for three weeks.
Gov. Steve Sisolak gave the employment agency the green light to apply for the LWA program on Aug. 25, and DETR applied for it about a week after, making Nevada the last state to apply.
FEMA said in September that it will offer an additional three weeks of pay, and Nevada applied again for funding.
The state asked and received approval of $224 million to cover three weeks in early September, but Nevada was only approved for an additional $199 million for the other three weeks.
DETR said the additional funding is “likely to cover only one or two additional weeks of benefits for qualified claimants.” The agency said it will provide updates on the exact time and amount of funding made beyond the the three weeks.
“Although LWA funding is limited to a set amount, our objective is to ensure payments are made to eligible claimants for as many weeks as the funding will allow,” said Cafferata.
The federally-funded program provides an extra $300-a-week to Nevada residents who receive at least $100 a week in benefits from either unemployment insurance or the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
On Friday, DETR said new claims for unemployment insurance and PUA claims totaled a combined 17,911 last week.
Meanwhile, a combined 249,003 UI and PUA claimants receivied weekly jobless pay last week.
Claimants who are waiting in the backlog will also be elgible to receive the LWA funds once their claim is approved.
DETR said claimants eligible for either traditional unemployment insurance or PUA benefits for the week of Aug. 1 will receive $300 for that week. Filers eligible for unemployment for weeks ending Aug. 8 or Aug. 15 will receive $300 for those weeks as welll.
A lump sum payment of $900 will be made if claimants are elgible for all three weeks.