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Lost-wages Assistance Benefits Being Distributed to PUA Claimants

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has begun the disbursement of lost-wages assistance (LWA) benefits to pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) claimants. Payments are expected in claimant accounts by Saturday, Sept. 5. For those who are eligible for LWA through the standard unemployment insurance (UI) program accessed through UI Online, benefits are expected to be disbursed on or before Sept. 15.

The Commonwealth’s application to receive grant funding to pay a limited additional weekly unemployment benefit to claimants under the federal LWA program for the weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8, and Aug. 15 was recently approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The application was submitted by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with DUA. An additional application for the week of Aug. 22 has been sent to FEMA, and the Massachusetts DUA is awaiting review by FEMA.

Per FEMA’s authorization, the grant will fund an additional $300 weekly payment to those who are eligible for at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefits for the three weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8, and Aug. 15.

The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance continues to work on the technology and business requirements necessary for this program and anticipates being able to quickly deliver retroactive funds to all eligible claimants in the coming weeks. Most eligible claimants currently receiving benefits do not need to take any action because the Commonwealth will automatically add LWA to their weekly benefit payment retroactive to the dates specified in the grant.

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