Lost Wages Assistance (LWA)

Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) is a federal program providing supplemental benefits to Americans who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for LWA benefits comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund.

How much will LWA benefits pay, and for how long?

Lost Wages Assistance benefits will provide eligible Coloradans with an additional $300 weekly benefit payment. Currently, Colorado has received federal approval to pay six weeks of benefits, covering the weeks beginning July 26 and ending September 5.

Who is eligible to receive LWA benefits?

To receive LWA benefits, claimants must be eligible for at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefits. This includes claimants receiving benefits from any of the following programs:

  • Regular unemployment insurance (UI)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • State Extended Benefits (SEB)
  • Work-Share Program/Short-Time Compensation (STC)

Most claimants also need to certify that their unemployment or partial unemployment is due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. PUA claimants have already made this certification and do not need to do so again.

What do I need to do in order to receive my LWA benefits?

PUA claimants do not need to complete an LWA certification. For everyone else, completing the required one-time certification for LWA benefits is quick and easy.

The Virtual Assistant will authenticate you using your Social Security Number and PIN and then check your claim for eligibility. If you’re eligible for LWA benefits, the Virtual Assistant will then ask you whether or not your unemployment is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once you’ve completed the LWA certification, no other action is required, other than continuing to request payment as you normally would.

How and when will LWA benefits be paid?

LWA benefits will be paid separately from your normal unemployment benefits, and may take several days to process. If you are denied for any reason, or there are no remaining Lost Wages Assistance funds available, we will notify you.

What can I do if I am deemed ineligible for LWA benefits?

A claimant's weekly unemployment benefit amount is calculated based on the wages reported in the base period.  Please review the Statement of Wages and Possible Benefits (form UIB-5) which was provided to you listing the wages reported on your claim.  If you need to correct the reported wages in your base period, please fill out the back of the Monetary Determination of Benefits form, attach supporting documentation of additional or corrected wages (e.g. pay stubs, W-2, etc.), and follow the instructions on the form to submit your documentation by mail or fax.

We will review your request for a wage correction and issue a decision that will be mailed to you.  If you disagree with our decision regarding your request for a wage correction, please follow the instructions on the decision to file an appeal.

For more information on available assistance programs, visit our page