CHEYENNE – The State of Wyoming will submit its application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to receive grant funding through the Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance Program (LWA). The program provides additional benefits to Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants who meet the LWA eligibility requirements.

The grant will provide a weekly $300 payment to eligible UI claimants, in addition to regular UI benefits or the federal unemployment insurance programs created by the CARES Act.

“As the State of Wyoming is submitting its application for funding and continuing to review the options presented by the Lost Wages Assistance program, the Unemployment Insurance division is working to program our claims system in order to more rapidly implement the LWA benefits,” said Holly McKamey Simoni, Workforce Programs Administrator for the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. “We will work diligently to complete this process as quickly as possible.”

LWA is available only to claimants who are unemployed or partially unemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For each week an eligible claimant receives at least $100 in state or federal unemployment benefits, the LWA will add $300. The maximum UI benefit in Wyoming is $526, meaning a claimant who receives the maximum UI benefit will receive a total of $826 per week, before federal taxes are withheld. The LWA funding is provided by FEMA.

“The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security stands ready to assist DWS navigate through the FEMA grant process,” said Wyoming Office of Homeland Security Director Lynn Budd. “We are familiar with the process and are pleased to lend technical assistance to DWS as they provide aid to those who have lost wages as a result of the pandemic.”

The LWA is a grant with a designated funding cap. Should the federal program exhaust its grant funding, the LWA payments will cease. The LWA program and all LWA payments will end on Dec. 26, 2020, if the funding is not exhausted before the sunset date.