Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Florida Begins Paying Federal Lost Wages Assistance Program Benefits

Tallahassee, FL (STL.News) Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (Department) has completed the necessary technology changes to begin paying the Federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program benefits to eligible Floridians.  This program, authorized by President Trump’s memorandum, provides additional benefits for individuals who are eligible for Reemployment Assistance for weeks of unemployment ending on or after August 1, 2020.

“We thank President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for providing this relief to Floridians during this time of need,” said Governor DeSantis.  “These additional funds will provide critical support to Florida’s unemployed workforce due to COVID-19.”

Florida has been approved to provide and has processed three weeks of LWA program benefits.  This means the Department is providing an additional $300 per week to eligible Reemployment Assistance claimants.  To be eligible for this benefit, claimants must have a weekly benefit amount of at least $100 in an approved Reemployment Assistance program and must certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Eligible Floridians should anticipate receiving benefits from the LWA program this week.  Payments will be provided to eligible Floridians for weeks ending August 1, August 8 and August 15, 2020.  The LWA program is administered similarly to the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program.  No additional application is necessary.  Eligible Floridians who are currently receiving Reemployment Assistance will receive their LWA benefits the same way they receive their weekly Reemployment Assistance benefits. However, a paper check will be issued if the payment method selected is debit card. DEO highly recommends that Reemployment Assistance claimants select direct deposit as their means of receiving benefits to ensure payments are received as quickly as possible.

The Department has updated benefit payment statuses to reflect the FPUC and LWA payments in CONNECT.  To better understand a claimant’s Reemployment Assistance weekly benefit payment status, view the step by step  guide here.  To review the Frequently Asked Questions on the LWA program, click here.