EDD Update on LWA $300 x 5 Weeks of Unemployment Benefits

LWA California EDD Official Update 9/10/20

The state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) has just issued a statement claiming that more than 1,000 of its staff worked over the long Labor Day holiday weekend to process claims and initiate new $300-a-week payments under the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program.

EDD is paying LWA benefits based on the order in which the EDD received the claimant’s certification for regular UI or PUA benefits for the three weeks between July 26 and August 15. Those who have already certified for benefits for these weeks and verified to the EDD that their full or partial unemployment is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a federal government requirement, will receive LWA payments first.

The federal government also requires claimants to have a minimum weekly benefit award of $100 or more on their initial claim. Those who received a payment on that claim for the weeks between July 26 and August 15 should expect one of these scenarios for additional LWA payments:

• Claimants who submitted their certification for all three of those weeks at the same time will receive one lump sum of $900 ($300/week x 3 weeks).

• Claimants who did not submit their certification for all three of those weeks at the same time, the payments will be split in two due to normal bi-weekly payment cycles based on when you provided your certifications for the three weeks of benefits.

Those with the weeks ending August 1st and 8th in the same two-week cycle will receive a $600 payment first followed a few days later by the remaining $300 for August 15th.

Those with the week ending date of August 1st on the second half of their two-week cycle will receive $300 first and the other $600 should arrive a few days later for the weeks ending August 8th and 15th.

• Claimants that were not paid for one or two weeks of the initial three week period due to excessive earnings, fully employed, or disqualified will only receive LWA payments for weeks paid.

• All first phase of LWA payments are scheduled to be completed in the next couple of weeks. Starting September 15, the EDD will start accepting self- attestations from phase 2 claimants who had not yet verified to the EDD that there’s a COVID-19 related reason for their full or partial unemployment. Throughout the week, EDD will be sending emails, texts, or mailed notices advising them to complete the self-attestation online through their UI Online account or to send in a paper form through the mail.

After these Phase One and Phase Two payments of the $300/week are made, EDD will distribute the two additional weeks of LWA payments recently approved by the federal government. More information will be coming about when to expect these additional two weeks of LWA benefits. California is currently applying for a 6th week of LWA payments for claimants contingent upon the availability of federal funds. If this is approved, more information will also be provided about when to expect such payments.