CRANSTON, R.I. – The Department of Labor and Training (DLT) announced today that Rhode Island has successfully completed the programming needed to issue payments as part of the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, which is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Claimants will receive an additional $300 per week for each of the following weeks that they successfully certified for benefits: week ending 8/1/20, week ending 8/8/20, and week ending 8/15/20. This payment will arrive in one lump sum by September 12, 2020.
"Thousands of Rhode Islanders are struggling as a result of COVID-19, so I'm proud that we were able to get this program implemented as quickly as possible in under two weeks," said Scott Jensen, DLT Director. "While the LWA grant will provide some much-needed temporary assistance, we hope that Congress will work to enact a longer-lasting solution as soon as possible."
Given that federal guidelines limited these payments to claimants whose benefit rate is $100 or more, last week, Governor Raimondo signed an executive order raising the minimum benefit rate to $100 for the duration of this program. Claimants whose weekly benefits fall below the $100 threshold will receive the difference in a separate deposit, after the LWA compensation has been disbursed.
To date, FEMA has provided DLT with enough funds to cover three weeks, retroactive to August 1, 2020. Rhode Island has submitted paperwork for additional funding and will continue to do so. Additional payments will be subsequently distributed if approved.
If a claimant does not receive a payment by September 12, they should contact the UI Call Center at (401) 415-6772.