The state began paying the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program last Thursday, according to Gov. Kay Ivey and Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington.

The LWA Program was created by President Donald Trump’s memorandum in response to the expiration of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which allocated $600 weekly beneficiaries in July.

Alabama has currently been approved for four weeks of benefits:

• Week ending Aug. 1

• Week ending Aug. 8

• Week ending Aug. 15

• Week ending Aug. 22

Future weeks will be applied for on a weekly basis and will be subject to approval.

This program allows Alabama to offer an additional unemployment compensation benefit of $300 per week to eligible unemployment recipients. To be eligible for this benefit, recipients must receive at least $100 in an approved Unemployment Compensation program weekly benefit amount and must certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Payments will be retroactive to August 1.

It can take up to 24 to 48 hours for payments to post to accounts.

Funding for this program comes from FEMA disaster relief funds. Early guidance from FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor indicated that states should be able to receive approximately three weeks’ worth of benefits upon approval, with additional weekly approval being granted on a weekly basis, depending on the remaining balance of the fund.

However, funding could end at any time; if FEMA funding is exhausted or the federal government enacts new law, or by Dec. 27, whichever comes first.

Claimants will be notified by ADOL via their tracker and the U.S. Mail if they are eligible for the payments, and if any additional action is needed on their part. LWA payments will be automatically added to existing benefits in the manner in which the recipient is currently receiving them.

No additional application will be necessary for claimants who have already certified that they are unemployed or underemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Alabamians who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19 and are currently receiving at least $100 per week in unemployment benefits from one of the following programs will be eligible to receive up to $575 a week, including $300 a week in LWA funds funded by FEMA:

• Unemployment Insurance (UI)

• Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE)

• Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX)

• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

• Extended Benefits (EB)

• Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA)

For more information on unemployment compensation in Alabama, visit www.labor.alabama.gov.