Washington will be pursuing funding through the Lost Wages Assistance program to bring $300 a week in funding to unemployed individuals.
The funding is through the Federal Emergency Management Administration.
The program would provide an additional $300 per week for three weeks to those who have lost work due to the COVID-19 crisis and are receiving unemployment benefits.
This is not the same as the additional $600 per week that was available under the specific CARES Act provision called the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which expired at the end of July.
Lost Wages Assistance has different requirements for eligibility and is drawn from a limited pool of money from FEMA to be shared among all states that apply and are approved.
This program was authorized through a Presidential Memorandum signed on Aug. 8, 2020.
In a release it indicates that state officials will not be requesting the $400 payment offered through the memorandum that required a 25% match from the state.
The funds are retroactive to the unemployment benefit week ending Aug. 1, 2020.
To qualify for this additional funding, claimants must self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. This will require a new step for claimants currently receiving regular unemployment benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits.
If the application is approved, ESD will provide a defined timeline for when the program will launch so that payments can be made to eligible claimants.
To learn more, an FAQ on Lost Wages Assistance will be posted at esd.wa.gov/newsroom.