Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency Begins Processing $300 Bonus Payments

WWJ News
September 10, 2020 - 4:20 pm
unemployment
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(WWJ) There's some extra money — $300 a-week to be exact — on the way for unemployed Michiganders who qualify. 

The Unemployment Insurance Agency said Thursday it has started processing payments for Lost Wages Assistance for eligible Michiganders. Due to the large volume of payments to be processed, workers will begin receiving LWA payments over the next week to ten days.

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LWA is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide $300 per week to supplement unemployment benefits for those who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. To be eligible for LWA, a claimant’s weekly benefit amount must be at least $100 (before deductions).

“Initially, eligible claimants will receive LWA for the benefit weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15, 2020,” said UIA Director Steve Gray, “An estimated 910,000 claimants will receive these much-needed additional benefits.”

Workers do not have to file a separate claim or application for LWA. To qualify, claimants must self-certify whether they are unemployed due to COVID-19. For claimants who have already provided a self-certification on their claim filing application, no further action is needed to qualify. Also, all unemployed workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have already completed this step.

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Claimants who need to self-certify will receive notification to answer a question in their MiWAM account starting this week. If a claimant has chosen to receive US mail, notification will be mailed.

FEMA has recently alerted states that LWA funds will only be available for a total of six weeks. States were initially granted three weeks of LWA benefits and must apply for additional weeks, officials say. UIA has applied for all available weeks of benefits which will be payable until the week ending September 5.

The new $300 payment comes a couple of months after a larger supplemental $600 weekly federal benefit expired when U.S. lawmakers failed to reach an agreement. 

It's still unclear if, for the general public, any additional federal stimulus payments should be expected at any point. A new coronavirus rescue package, set for a vote in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, was expected to fail — likely putting an end to any hope for a relief bill before the November election.