The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce says people should be able to see money from the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program soon.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the program for the state back on September 1st
People who are hurting from the pandemic would receive $300 per week if they are receiving at least $100 in weekly benefit amounts from a state or federal program, by continuing to complete the mandatory claim certification each week and indicating there’s a job disruption due to the pandemic.
News 19 has received several calls and messages from viewers asking when the money would come through from the program.
Heather Biance, Media Relations Specialist with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), says people can expect money from the program soon.
“We are at the finish line here. We are very close,” Biance said. “Folks will soon be able to get through this process, get the LWA and we’ll be able to move forward.”
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The department launched the program this week.
Right now people need to be on the lookout for an email from SCDEW so they can continue the process and receive money from the program.
“What folks will have to do is to log into their MyBenefits portal. They’ll have to verify their identity, which is a new step, and then they’ll have to actually basically file lost wages assistance certification,” Biance explained. “That’s basically applying for LWA.”
The department has been sending emails out to claimants in the portal telling people what they need to do.
Security measures in place mean they can only send a certain amount of emails per hour, but they’re sending the emails in waves.
Please take note. We are working to quickly implement our LWA benefit capability which will include an enhanced identity validation process. While we are making these changes, some claimants will experience unusual responses from the web portal system.
— SCDEW (@SCDEWinfo) September 23, 2020
Biance says it’s taken time to implement the program in their system so they can prevent fraud.
“Unlike any of the CARES Act programs, the LWA Program is different. We, as a state, are on the hook, so to speak,” Biance said. “We are actually financially liable to pay back FEMA for any claim that’s fraudulently paid. What that means is that it’s going to come back to the state in terms of that liability. That money would be taken away from other programs and other critical resources for the state.”
The department says they appreciate people being patient as they work to prevent fraud and make sure the money gets to the people who need it.
Once people follow the steps listed in the email, they should begin to see the money in 7 to 14 days maximum.
The state has been approved for additional assistance for another three weeks. That’s August 1st through September 5th.
People who are eligible may receive up to $1,800 in a one-time payment from the program.
For more information on the program, you can find it on SCDEW’s website.
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