Virginia received Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) approval on August 26 to provide $300 additional weekly benefits under the Lost Wages Assistance program. However, due to various reasons, the state delayed in rolling out the payments. So when can the unemployed expect to receive the extra $300 unemployment benefits in Virginia? This article will break it for you!
But before that, let’s learn more about the Lost Wages Assistance in Virginia.
Lost Wages Assistance in Virginia
The unemployed Virginians had expected to receive their extra $300 weekly unemployment benefits on September 30. Though the people would receive these benefits for a limited time, the amount would help people pay first-of-the-month bills and home rent. But without notice, the Virginia Employment Commission changed the benefits distribution date to October 15.
Joyce Fogg, the VEC spokeswoman, stated, “The timing was due to a programming error, and the agency still hoped to distribute the benefits before October 15.” Fogg further added, “LWA has different eligibility standards and required them to work with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, which they are not used to doing.”
“Our staff was working hard to try to get it to happen earlier, and it just didn’t sync. The programs didn’t mesh together,” stated Fogg.
After their original distribution plan failed, the VEC spokeswoman told 8News that the Department hoped to roll out the funds before October 15. However, the VEC website notified that the qualified could expect to receive payments beginning October 15.
According to Joyce Fogg, the Department faced several challenges that prompted the second delay in rolling out payments. She said, “Monday was a federal bank holiday, and, on Tuesday, a damaged fiber optic cable outside of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency caused several state websites to shut down for most of the workday.”
“When your computer system is down, no checks get to run, no money gets released, no money gets transferred,” stated the VEC spokeswoman.
When Can You Expect To Receive Extra $300 Unemployment Benefits In Virginia?
The VEC began processing and distributing payments on October 16 under the Lost Wages Assistance program. The Commission said the payments would reach people’s bank accounts or debit cards from October 19. Amounts to qualified claimants will be paid retroactively to August 1 for 6 weeks. That is, qualified Virginians can get up to $1800 in total.
Who Qualifies For Extra $300 Weekly Unemployment Benefits In Virginia?
Unlike $600 weekly benefits, not everyone who is unemployed can receive $300 additional weekly benefits.
- You are receiving a minimum of $100 weekly benefits through the regular unemployment or any federal program
- You have self-certified that you lost your job due to the direct result of the pandemic
Note– If you don’t self-certify that you have lost your job due to the pandemic before October 15, you will not qualify for the $300 due to FEMA funding guidelines.
How To Apply For Additional $300 Unemployment Benefits In Virginia?
You need not submit a separate request or application for LWA. All you have to do is self-certify that you are fully or partially unemployed due to the pandemic’s direct result.
What To Do If You Don’t Qualify For $300 Extra Weekly Unemployment Benefits?
If you don’t qualify for the LWA program, you can continue to apply for the regular unemployment benefits program and receive benefits.
You can receive benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, provided you have exhausted all your benefits received through the regular unemployment program.
The PEUC program offers unemployment benefits for additional 13 weeks. You must file a separate application to receive PEUC benefits. Note that you must submit a separate application to receive PEUC benefits in Virginia.
If you have exhausted your PEUC benefits, you can apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA was created under the CARES Act to provide benefits to the self-employed, gig-workers, etc. who otherwise did not qualify for UI benefits. This program provides benefits for 30 weeks.
Note– If you are receiving unemployment benefits due to the pandemic, you must continue to certify every week to receive benefits. This holds good even for the PUA program.
Can You Receive $300 Extra Benefits If You Have Lost Your Job Recently?
No, you can receive $300 additional weekly benefits if you have lost your job recently. The benefits are provided depending on your unemployment status in August 2020.
However, you can apply for the regular Virginia unemployment benefits program.
- Available, able, and ready to take up a job
- Have earned minimum wages in your base period
The VEC is receiving a high volume of Unemployment Insurance benefits claims since mid-March. But due to its lack of staff, the Commission had significant delays in processing payments and receiving incoming calls. The VEC has hired additional staff and has updated its claims processing systems, it encourages new claimants to file a claim online.