Oregon Pandemic Lost Wages Assistance Update
On Wednesday, September 30th, the Oregon Employment Department will begin issuing Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) payments to qualifying Oregonians who received PUA benefits or self-certified that they received unemployment benefits for COVID-19-related reasons.
LWA is a temporary emergency measure funded by FEMA that gives an additional $300 per week to people out of work due to COVID-19 and who receive unemployment benefits.
If you self-certified your eligibility for LWA, you will receive individual $300 payments for each week you are eligible for, via your current method of payment. If you receive electronic deposit (direct deposit or ReliaCard), you should see funds in your account within three business days.
If you have not yet certified but think you are eligible for LWA, certify using the Online Claim System before it’s too late! There is no cut-off date for self-certification, but since funds are limited we encourage claimants who have not certified yet to do so immediately.
You automatically qualified for LWA if you:
- Received unemployment benefits from July 26, 2020, through September 5, 2020; and
- Either received PUA benefits during that time or self-certified you were unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.
Individuals receiving regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Extended Benefits (EB) are required to self-certify for LWA. Individuals receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) do not need to certify because they certified when first applying for PUA benefits. For step-by-step instructions on how to self-certify, visit https://unemployment.oregon.gov/workers/step-by-step-guides.
LWA was retroactive to eligible claimants for weeks ending:
- August 1, 2020
- August 8, 2020
- August 15, 2020
- August 22, 2020
- August 29, 2020
- September 5, 2020
LWA payments are taxable under federal law, just like regular unemployment insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.