Lost Wages Assistance Program

From our Business Agent Tom Pusateri:

 


Dear Sisters, Brothers and Kin::

 

I hope you all enjoyed Labor Day and the incredible weather. I wanted to share some recent information I received from our colleague, International Vice President Craig Carlson re: LWA. I've also attached a summary sheet/FAQ for your reference.

Although the U.S. Republican Senate did not vote to extend the $600 weekly benefit to workers unemployed due to COVID-19, the IL Dept. of Employment Security (IDES) has applied for and received authorization to award a $300 per week supplemental unemployment benefit under the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program.

The LWA was created by a presidential executive order and is being funded through FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund. Although there are only three weeks of secured funding for this benefit, IDES has applied for a fourth week and payments under the LWA program will begin the week of September 6, 2020. Sadly, there is very limited funding available for this program and it will expire if and when the fund runs out of money. Also, only benefit recipients who are eligible for a weekly benefit of $100 or greater will receive this supplemental LWA payment. Attached is an FAQ sheet from IDES.

We continue to lobby for extended unemployment benefits, COBRA subsidies, pension plan benefit relief and more. Our industry has been disproportionately affected by the economic ramifications of COVID-19 and we’re doing everything we can to help our Sisters and Brothers get through this crisis and to safely reopen our industry. Between new inexpensive rapid tests that are advertised to be soon available, and science getting closer to a vaccine, we’re hopeful.