CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina is waiting for federal approval after submitting its grant application for FEMA’s Lost Wages Assistance program.
If the application is approved, the program would provide an additional $300 in benefits on top of a claimant’s weekly benefit amount.
Gov. Henry McMaster and Department of Employment and Workforce Executive Director Dan Ellzey announced on Wednesday that the state had submitted the application for the grant.
“Our state should be proud of the economic recovery efforts and the progress we have made to date, but we know that some of our citizens are still struggling in the wake of this pandemic,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We’ve chosen to participate in this program in a way that will provide additional unemployment relief from the federal government while maintaining our strong record of fiscal responsibility and protecting the interests of South Carolinians.”
According to state leaders, for each week a claimant is eligible for at least $100 in state or federal unemployment benefits, the LWA will add $300. In South Carolina, the average weekly benefit is approximately $260.
The governor’s office stated that once implemented, LWA payments will be retroactive to August 1, 2020; however, unlike prior federal funding provided through the CARES Act, LWA funding comes through a grant from FEMA and has a funding cap.
“Should the federal program exhaust its grant funding, the LWA payments will cease,” state leaders said.” The LWA program and all LWA payments will end on December 26, 2020, if the funding is not exhausted before the sunset date.”