Some Lost Wages jobless benefits recipients saw payments reversed due to eligibility glitch

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The Delaware Division of Unemployment insurance continues to make payments for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program but did admit to an error in determining eligibility that resulted in some individuals having their payments taken away.

“When reviewing yesterday’s payment file for weeks two and three, we discovered payments had been made to individuals not eligible for LWA benefits for those weeks,” the division of the Delaware Department of Labor stated in a social media post. “We reversed those payments and that resulted in some individuals seeing payments made, and then reversed. We apologize for that error and are working to correct the process to prevent it from recurring.”

The number of individuals was not disclosed.

The program, which comes with a maximum $300 a week benefit came out of an executive order from President Donald Trump with funds coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Delaware and other states have been scrambling to implement various Covid-19 jobless benefit programs. The programs have been subject to fraudulent claims coupled with unprecedented increases in unemployment insurance filings.

The division noted in a release that the timing of payments will vary depending on the status of individual claims.

For week one, the division paid approximately 27,000 individuals, with a slightly smaller number for weeks two and three.

Individuals in the traditional unemployment insurance program who did not certify at the time their initial claim was filed, that their employment was disrupted due to Covid-19, will receive an email and/or call to inform them about how to certify.

The division offered the following guidance

  • Check your spam or junk folder to ensure you did not miss our email.
  • If we are unsuccessful in reaching you by email or phone, we will mail a notice to the address submitted when you filed your claim.
  • We will begin making payments to these individuals the week of September 28.
  • If you believe you may be eligible for LWA, you can attempt to certify at 302-761-6576. You will be asked to make your language selection (1 for English, 2 for Spanish), press 1 for the LWA certification process, and enter your SSN and PIN and follow the prompts. Respond accurately to the question about your direct impact from the pandemic and then follow any further instructions.
  • Eligible individuals in the traditional unemployment insurance program who did certify that their employment was disrupted due to Covid-19, have received payments for weeks 1-3 and payments for weeks 4-6 will be made the week of September 28.
  • Eligible individuals in programs supported on the state’s new system, including PUA, PEUC and Extended Benefits, have received payment for weeks 1-3, and payment for weeks 4-6 will be made the week of September 28.

The state is working to identify and make payments to eligible individuals who transitioned between programs during the FEMA LWA program period.

The goal is for all eligible individuals to be paid their lost wage benefits by Oct. 2.

For individuals whose claims are not yet approved, the division stated it has processes in place to identify those claims as they become eligible and will make every effort to pay the LWA benefit as long as allowed by FEMA.

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