Overview

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) notified the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) on September 9, 2020, that funding for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program ended with the benefit week ending September 5, 2020.

TWC cannot pay $300 LWA benefit payments for any benefit weeks after September 5, 2020.

The LWA program provided supplemental payments to eligible unemployment benefits claimants who have been unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Eligible Texas claimants received a $300 LWA payment at the same time as their unemployment benefits payment.

TWC received funding to pay claimants for the benefit weeks ending (BWE):

  • August 1, 2020
  • August 8, 2020
  • August 15, 2020
  • August 22, 2020
  • August 29, 2020
  • September 5, 2020

TWC will continue to pay eligible claimants for these approved six weeks for as long as the existing FEMA funds deposited to TWC remain available. Claimants will continue to receive normal weekly benefit amounts for any benefit weeks for which they are eligible.

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Duration

The LWA program’s duration is limited to six weeks because of federal funding availability. TWC had to request FEMA funding for each benefit week. FEMA approved funding for six weeks, starting with the week ending August 1, 2020, through September 5, 2020. TWC cannot pay $300 LWA benefit payments for any benefit weeks after September 5, 2020.

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Eligibility

To be eligible for LWA benefits:

  1. Your weekly benefit amount must be $100 or more.
  2. You must receive at least $1 of benefits from one of the following programs:
    • Regular unemployment insurance
    • Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE)
    • Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX)
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
    • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), note may appear as DUA in Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS)
    • Extended Benefits (EB)
    • Shared Work
    • Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA)
  3. You must certify when submitting your payment request that you are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

    Note: Many claimants will not need to certify since they have already indicated to TWC that their employment was impacted by COVID-19. Claimants on a shared work plan will not need to certify if their employer notified TWC that their shared work employees had their hours reduced because of COVID-19.

LWA is not payable to individuals collecting Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) unrelated to the pandemic, i.e. a tropical storm, hurricane, or flood. Individuals receiving DUA (DR 4485) benefits because their employment was impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for LWA.

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How Do I Apply?

You do not need to apply for LWA benefits. If LWA funds are available, most claimants will receive LWA benefits for eligible benefit weeks because they have already indicated to TWC that their employment was impacted by COVID-19. Claimants on a shared work plan will also receive LWA benefits if they are available and if their employer has notified TWC that their hours were reduced because of COVID-19.

If we have not received verification that your job was impacted by COVID-19, you may be asked to certify that you are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

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How Do I Request Payment?

You do not need to file a separate payment request to receive Lost Wage Assistance payments.  Follow the normal payment request procedures for unemployment benefits. For more information, see:

 

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Are LWA Benefits Taxable?

Yes. Unemployment benefits, including Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) payments, are taxable. Individuals can sign up for withholding, and the Texas Workforce Commission will deduct 10% for income tax withholding. For Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information, see Did You Receive Unemployment Benefits? Have the right tax withheld for 2020PDF.

 

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Fraud

Alert! Be aware of unemployment insurance scams and fraudulent phone calls. Do not give your personally identifiable information like your date of birth or your Social Security number to anyone you are not sure of.

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