Iowa Workforce Development is accepting applications and processing claims under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. LWA benefit payments will be received by claimants in five to seven business days. The LWA program pays eligible claimants an additional $300 per week and the first payment will include retroactive payments to the week ending Aug. 1. 

Iowa was one of the first states in the country to apply and be approved for LWA program funds from FEMA after it was created by executive order Aug. 8. 

Iowa has secured available funding for all five weeks of the LWA program.  The LWA program will continue until it expires when any of the following occur:  

• FEMA expends $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), or  

• The total unobligated balance of the DRF decreases to $25 billion, or  

• Legislation is enacted that provides, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, supplemental federal unemployment compensation or similar compensation for unemployed or underemployed individuals; or 

• The calendar hits Dec. 27, which is the end of the period of performance for the grant.  

To receive an LWA benefit payment, claimants must be eligible to receive at least $100 in unemployment benefits per week, and the individual must self-certify that s/he is unemployed or partially unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Those who self-certified when they filed their initial claim and are eligible for an LWA benefit payment do not need to take any action because IWD will automatically add the $300 to their weekly benefit amount.  

Individuals who did not indicate they were unemployed due to COVID-19 and meet the other eligibility requirements will be asked additional questions on their weekly continued claim reporting to determine their potential eligibility for the LWA program.

For more information about the LWA program, please visit the IWD website at: https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/lost-wages-assistance.