Earlier this month, President Trump signed an executive order directing funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to a create a temporary $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit for unemployment benefits claimants impacted by COVID-19. Texas is one of many states that have applied to and are now participating in the new program.
The Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) program provides claimants a $300 LWA payment at the same time as their unemployment benefits payment. Notably, eligible Texans do not need to apply for LWA benefits. Claimants should receive LWA benefits automatically if they have already indicated to the Texas Workforce Commission that their employment was impacted by COVID-19 and are currently eligible for at least $100 per week in benefits.
These benefits are available retroactively dating back to the benefit week ending August 1, 2020, but it is unclear how long federal funds will last without any additional appropriation by Congress. For more information on LWA program eligibility, benefits, and frequently asked questions, please visit the Texas Workforce Commission’s LWA program page at twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/lost-wages-assistance.