Colorado’s application for the federal Lost Wages Assistance program has been approved, providing an opportunity for unemployed Coloradans impacted by COVID-19 to receive an additional weekly payment of $300.
The program replaces the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program that paid out-of-work residents $600 per week in additional benefits.
“On Aug. 8, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order authorizing FEMA to expend up to $44 billion from its Disaster Relief Fund to provide lost wages assistance to Americans receiving unemployment benefits,” according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment news release. “While Colorado has not yet finalized the amount of its LWA payments, the program will provide eligible Coloradans with an additional $300 on top of their regular unemployment benefits, with an additional $100 should states be able to identify state funds.”
Claimants could begin receiving the new benefits as early as mid-September, department officials said. Payments will be retroactive to the week beginning July 26 and will extend through the week ending Aug. 15.
“This additional benefit of $300 per week will put at least $265 million into the hands of our unemployed workforce which has been impacted by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, and provides critical support during this time of extreme need,” the department’s executive director Joe Barela said in a statement.
Colorado paid more than $2.4 billion in FPUC benefits to approximately 560,000 claimants between April and July, when the program expired.
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