BOSTON, MA — The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has begun disbursement of the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) $300 supplemental benefit to newly eligible unemployment claimants in the Commonwealth who were previously determined ineligible for those payments because their benefit amount was too low to qualify. Eligible claimants will receive this supplemental benefit by Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
Recently enacted legislation raised the minimum weekly benefit amount (WBA) to $100 for the six-week period for the LWA program for those claimants who did not meet the federal threshold inclusive of the dependency allowance.
This additional benefit will apply to any claimants newly eligible for Unemployment Insurance during the applicable weeks who were excluded from LWA payments due to a weekly benefit amount as determined at the beginning of the claim below $100 (including dependency allowance)
Approximately 17,000 new claimants will be eligible for this, totaling $24 million in additional disbursements to unemployment claimants in Massachusetts. In addition to the $300 supplemental benefit, eligible claimants will receive an increase in their WBA to the $100 threshold for the six week period. The WBA increase will be paid separately, and eligible claimants will receive payment by Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
The limited additional weekly unemployment benefit to claimants under the federal LWA program is for the weeks ending 8/1/20 through 9/5/20. Claimants who previously received LWA payments for those weeks will not be receiving additional disbursements as a result of this announcement. Only newly eligible claimants whose weekly benefit amount (including dependency allowance) was less than $100 per week during those weeks will be receiving additional retroactive payments.
If a claimant has questions about eligibility or their payment status they can call the Department of Unemployment Assistance call center at 877-626-6800. The call center is open from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday. Multilingual call agents are available. More information about unemployment assistance in Massachusetts can be found at mass.gov/unemployment.