CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) says that Nevada submitted its application Tuesday for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Grant Program. The program was created by President Donald Trump under Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
The State of Nevada’s initial request for LWA is for approximately $300 million. If the application is approved, the grant will provide eligible claimants up to an additional $300 per week in temporary supplemental financial support for the first three weeks of August.
Under the terms of the President’s memorandum issued on Aug. 8, 2020, only claimants whose unemployment is COVID-related are eligible, and those who are currently receiving less than $100 in weekly unemployment benefits are not eligible for the supplemental benefit.
If the State of Nevada’s application is approved, the state will immediately begin working on the necessary technology changes to the current system to accommodate the new program. The LWA Grant Program, administered by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has a spending cap of $44 billion. Once the allocation is exhausted, benefits will end.
So, states must reapply each week after the first three weeks, giving FEMA the opportunity to calculate the program’s remaining balance after the first round of grants. The program also would be halted if FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund balance drops below $25 billion.
DETR also announced Wednesday that applications have been submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for approximately $1.7 million. The money was submitted under two federal grants to support fraud investigations and other fraud detection-related activities, including implementing tools to increase prevention, detection, and recovery of any fraudulent or improper payments in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs.
The PUA Fraud Investigation Activities Grant and the PEUC Fraud Investigation Activities Grant are intended to help states in efforts to prevent and detect fraud and identity theft.
Nevada has applied for the full amount available to the state: $285,600 through the PEUC Fraud Investigation Activities Grant and $1,499,400 in the PUA Fraud Investigation Activities Grant.
Starting next week, 200 Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS) eligibility employees will be able to start assisting DETR with processing claims. Additionally, they will begin two weeks of adjudication training later this month, and more DWSS employees are scheduled to be trained to support the Department’s work.
The agency will have further updates later this week on the work of the Rapid Response Strike Force and additional resources that will be added to the effort to reduce the backlog and enhance the state’s administration of the unemployment benefits program.