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Next rounds of $300 unemployment assistance payments start this week, says EDD

California's Employment Development Department updated timelines for payments for weeks four and five of the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Millions of unemployed people in California will receive the next round of a $300 per week unemployment boost beginning the week of Monday, Sept. 28.

California's Employment Development Department (EDD) said it will begin paying out weeks four and five of the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) payments starting next week. California has also received approval for a sixth week of LWA payments, provided there are enough funds.

The LWA payments mean qualified people can get an additional $300 per week, in addition to their regular unemployment benefits. The EDD said it has finished issuing the first three weeks of LWA payments to all people in phase one. This phase included 3.2 million people, with payments totaling $2.7 billion. 

The EDD is still working through phase two payments for people who still need to verify their unemployment is related to the coronavirus pandemic.

LWA Payments: Weeks 4 & 5

The EDD said when it starts paying out two more weeks of LWA payments next week, these payments will go out to all qualified people who were part of phases one and two. These payments cover the benefit weeks ending Aug. 22 and 29.

Payments will be posted to EDD debit cards or checks will be sent in the mail, depending on prior payment methods. Just like the earlier rounds of payments, when people receive the full $600 will depend on how they certified for their weeks.

The EDD states, "those who meet eligibility requirements for both weeks in the same period will receive a payment of $600 while those with the weeks spread across two bi-weekly periods will receive two $300 payments close together."

LWA Payments: Phase Two

The EDD is still in the process of making the first rounds of LWA payments to people in phase two. These are people who needed to submit a self-attestation that their unemployment is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The agency estimates there are about 800,000 people in phase two, with some self-attestations still coming in and being processed. The EDD states, "all claimants receiving the first three weeks of LWA payments meet these federal requirements: 

  • Were previously paid either regular UI or PUA benefits for the weeks ending Aug. 1, 8 and/or 15.
  • Have a minimum weekly benefit award of $100 or more on their initial claim, even if they received a lower payment during this time period because they reported wages.
  • Attested that their unemployment is caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you still need to provide a certification, EDD says it is posting messages in qualified people's UI Online accounts, as well as sending them emails, texts, and/or mailed notices about what information EDD needs from them to process their LWA payments. Claimants need to simply follow the instructions they are provided to complete their self-attestation.

The self-attestation is a quick yes or no question. If a person answers no, EDD is required to disqualify the claimant from receiving LWA payments. To date, the EDD said about 36,000 people have responded no.

LWA Payments: Week 6

The EDD confirmed California has been approved for a potential sixth and final week of the $300 LWA payments that would cover the benefit week ending Sept. 5. 

In its update, the agency said, "the EDD will be closely monitoring benefits paid for the first five weeks of the LWA program to ensure that sufficient federal funds remain before issuing a sixth week of $300 payments."

More details would be released as they are available. If you have more questions about unemployment in California, text 'EDD' to 916-321-3310 to reach our Dollars and Sense team.

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