MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The state of Alabama has been a part of the Lost Wages Assistance program for nearly two weeks.
That means Alabamians receiving unemployment should be receiving an extra $300 dollars a week, in addition to their state benefit which is usually between $100 and $275 each week.
“This program the LWA program was created by an executive memorandum by President Trump and the funding is coming from FEMA, rather than the U.S. Department of Labor,” explained Tara Hutchinson with the Alabama Department of Labor.
But when will it kick in? The ADOL said its having to jump through a few more hoops than normal to release the LWA funds.
“We’re just waiting to get those payments disbursed, and we have to pay it in a separate mechanism from the way we normally pay other things,” Hutchinson added. “There are certain banking requirements that have to be met that we’re waiting on.”
ADOL said they’re hoping to disburse the federal payments, retroactive to August 1, by Friday.
However, in order to be eligible, unemployment claimants must receive at least $100 a week from ADOL. Another important note, the $300 is taxable income.
“Like any of the unemployment benefit they can elect to, well they probably have already done so,” said Hutchinson. “If they’re receiving those benefits they will have elected already whether or not they want those taxes taken out. So, you know, we’ll automatically take those if they’ve told us that they want the taxes taken out.”
The question that seems to linger is how long will it last?
There’s no set expiration date for this program like there was for CARES Act funds.
The FEMA money will last until the federal program expends $44 billion dollars, the Disaster Relief Fund reaches $25 billion or another COVID-19 stimulus package is passed.