COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) is working on implementing the Lost Wages Assistance program that will provide additional benefits to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
On September 1, the state was approved by FEMA for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. This would provide $300 in federal wage benefits to help people who are unemployed and are struggling as the pandemic continues.
South Carolina’s LWA will provide $300 in addition to an unemployed claimants’ weekly benefit amount. For each week an eligible claimant receives at least $100 in state or federal unemployment benefits, the LWA payment would add $300.
A person could get $900 in a three week span. This includes the $300 for each week and their regular weekly benefit under the program.
In order for someone to be eligible for the benefits, SCDEW says that people need to be eligible to receive at least $100 in their weekly benefit amounts from a state or federal program. People also need to indicate there's been a job disruption due to the coronavirus. People need to continue to complete the mandatory claim certification each week of unemployment.
Whether or not someone will continue to receive benefits after the already approved three-week period depends on if there is money left.
News19 received several messages and calls from viewers asking when the LWA would kick in.
SCDEW tells WLTX that they are currently working on implementing the new federal program to their system.
So far the state has been approved for LWA assistance for claim weeks including August 1, August 8 and August 15.
SCDEW has requested FEMA for, "additional funding approval for weeks 4, 5 and 6."
Heather Biance, the Media Relations Specialist for SCDEW, had this to say about the timetable for when people will start seeing the benefits:
"As we stated when approved by FEMA, it will take a few weeks to implement this new federal program in our system. As with all the federal programs we've implemented under the CARES Act, it takes time to configure and test the system to ensure accuracy and compliance with both FEMA and DOL standards."
The department said they are continuing to provide updates about the LWA assistance through the MyBenefits portal, texts, emails, social media and their website.