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Unemployment Benefits

$300 unemployment benefits in New York: when will they be paid?

New York is one of 47 states that has signed up to the Lost Wages Assistance program, which will provide out-of-work Americans with an extra $300 a week.

People enjoy outdoor dining amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

Back in early in August amid the ongoing impasse between lawmakers on a new coronavirus relief bill, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would provide out-of-work Americans $400 a week in extra unemployment benefits.

The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program was implemented as a short-term fix to replace the $600-a-week emergency benefit that was approved under the CARES Act in March but expired in July.

Under Trump’s order, the federal government would pay $300 with the states expected to make up the remaining $100. However, only three states -- Kentucky, Montana and West Virginia -- have agreed to pay the additional $100, meaning most Americans will receive $300, and not $400.

President Trump signed four executive orders in early August, one of which covered the $300 unemployment benefit.
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President Trump signed four executive orders in early August, one of which covered the $300 unemployment benefit.JOSHUA ROBERTSREUTERS

$300 unemployment benefit: New York begins payments this week

Forty-seven states have signed up for the LWA, including New York, with the NY State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) announcing on 10 September that the $300-a-week payments would begin to be sent out this week, beginning 14 September. 

"This week, claimants who are eligible for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program will receive up to three payments of $300. These payments are distributed separately from your regular UI or PUA payments and will appear on your account by Friday 9/18," NYSDOL said in a tweet.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released funding for the first three weeks of LWA benefits to New York State, covering the benefit weeks ending 2 August, 9 August, and 16 August. Around 2.4 million people are entitled to the benefit in New York, including 435,000 who must submit an additional certification to qualify.

“Throughout this crisis, states’ unemployment systems have been pushed to the limit and constantly-changing federal guidance — including this haphazard Presidential executive order — have only delayed our efforts to get benefits to New Yorkers in need. But we have worked day and night to stand up this program, and millions of New Yorkers will see payments next week,” Commissioner Roberta Reardon said.

We are emailing all New Yorkers who are receiving benefits to inform them of their status and, if needed, provide information about certifying for the Lost Wages Assistance program. All New Yorkers should keep an eye out for these messages and, if an additional certification is required, respond immediately.”

Eligible New Yorkers will receive LWA payments of $300 per week for the weeks ending August 2nd, 9th, and 16th. Under federal rules, New York State may be eligible for additional weeks of LWA funding.

$300 unemployment benefit: Qualifying for the LWA

Approximately 2 million people are already qualified for the LWA program in New York, but if you are one of the 435,000 NY residents that need to submit additional certification confirming that your unemployment is related to Covid-19, here’s what you need to do:

  • You can certify starting Friday, 11 September either online or via phone:
  • Online: claimants will receive a secure DocuSign email from the DOL on 11 September, with a link to certify for LWA benefits
  • Phone: claimants can call 833-491-0632 to certify via an automated phone system
  • Once your certification is submitted, your payment will be released on a rolling basis.

How long will the $300 unemployment benefit last?

According to FEMA, funding for the LWA program will continue until any of the following occur:

1. The federal Disaster Relief Fund balance falls below $25 billion
2. The $44 billion set aside for the LWA program is depleted;
3. Congress enacts a replacement unemployment relief program; OR
4. If none of the above scenarios occur before December 27, 2020, funding will terminate on that date.


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