COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina has been approved for a $300 federal wage benefit to help unemployment people struggling financially during the pandemic.
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) said late Tuesday that FEMA had approved the state for the Lost Wages Assistance program.
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 will add $300. DEW is working with the vendor to update the requirements of the new program into the MyBenefits portal which could take two to three weeks to implement.
Additional information on eligibility and program guidelines will come soon, as the agency reviews the information that has been provided by FEMA. Updates will be provided on the dew.sc.gov website.
The LWA grant was created by President Donald Trump through executive order in response to the expiration of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. If the state’s application is approved, the South Carolina LWA would provide an additional $300 in benefits on top of a claimant’s weekly benefit amount.
For each week a claimant is eligible for at least $100 in state or federal unemployment benefits, the LWA will add $300. In South Carolina, the average weekly benefit is approximately $260.
The governor's office says LWA payments will be retroactive to August 1, 2020; however, unlike prior federal funding provided through the CARES Act, LWA funding comes through a grant from FEMA and has a funding cap. Should the federal program exhaust its grant funding, the LWA payments will cease. The LWA program and all LWA payments will end on December 26, 2020 regardless, but will end earlier if funding runs out before then.