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Nebraska applying for federal program that would give some on unemployment extra funds

Posted at 12:30 PM, Sep 04, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced Friday that the state will apply for a federal program that could pay some on unemployment an additional $300 weekly for a limited number of weeks.

The $300 payments through the Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance program (LWA) has to be approved first by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

According to a press release from NDOL, the payments would be limited to qualified claimants for the weeks of August 1, August 8 and August 15. Additional weeks will be covered only if funding is available.

"When the federal program exhausts its grant funding, it will no longer have the resources to provide LWA payments and the program will end at that time," said NDOL.

Only those whose unemployment is related to COVID-19 will be eligible for LWA payments. The program additionally excludes those receiving less than $100 in weekly unemployment benefits.

For claimants falling under both state and federal benefit programs, Nebraska's weekly maximum benefit amount is $440. When combined with the new LWA program, the maximum possible benefit will be $740 per week for the covered weeks before federal withholding taxes.

NDOL has already started to work with its vendor to build a new program within the unemployment system to implement and pay out the new LWA benefits in anticipation of FEMA approval.

According to NDOL, over 130,000 individuals have been paid unemployment benefits throughout the pandemic.