MADISON – The Federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program is now available to eligible state residents. LWA provides an additional $300 weekly unemployment benefit to individuals unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in August and September.

The program was announced last month and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) started processing payments on Sept. 21.

DHS reports that the LWA payments will not be counted as income or assets for the determination of eligibility for health care benefits, FoodShare, or Caretaker Supplement.

Earlier this year, several types of relief payments were created to assist people affected by the COVID-19 health emergency. These relief payments, and how they are counted for members receiving benefits from the DHS, are listed below:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
    • FPUC payments are counted as income for FoodShare and Caretaker Supplement.
    • Retroactive payments are not counted as income for these programs.
    • FPUC payments are not counted as income for health care programs.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
    • PEUC and PUA payments are counted as income for all programs.
    • Retroactive PEUC and PUA payments will not be counted for FoodShare.
    • Retroactive PEUC and PUA payments will be counted as an asset for Elderly, Blind, or Disabled Medicaid programs.
  • Economic impact payments (also referred to as stimulus payments)
    • These payments are not counted as income for any program.
    • These payments are also not counted as an asset for 12 months for programs that test assets.

For more information about the LWA Program, visit: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/lwa


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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...