Dear Oregonian,

Today, we launched online self-certification for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. The temporary emergency program funded by FEMA provides an additional $300 per week to people who are out of work and receiving unemployment benefits due to COVID-19. To meet FEMA requirements for the program, claimants must certify that they are receiving unemployment benefits for COVID-19-related reasons.

Please note that self-certification is required by FEMA in order to receive LWA benefits. The Employment Department plans to start providing LWA funds to qualified Oregonians by the end of September.

Starting today, you can self-certify for LWA using the Online Claims System. The option to certify over the phone will be available soon. However, we strongly encourage you to certify online to avoid long delays on our phone lines. For step-by-step instructions on how to self-certify, visit https://unemployment.oregon.gov/workers/step-by-step-guides.

As a reminder, you automatically qualify for LWA if you:

  • Have received unemployment benefits from July 26, 2020, through September 5, 2020
  • Self-certify they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19

Self-certification is a new one-time step for people receiving regular UI, PEUC, or Extended Benefits. For claimants receiving PUA, there is no need to self-certify: you self-certified when you first applied for PUA benefits. 

LWA is retroactive to eligible claimants for the following weeks ending:

  • August 1, 2020
  • August 8, 2020
  • August 15, 2020
  • August 22, 2020
  • August 29, 2020
  • September 5, 2020

FEMA has notified states that the final week of LWA payments will be for the week ending September 5. Because the FEMA funds were limited, we cannot extend payments beyond that date. If you become unemployed after the week ending August 1, 2020, you can only receive LWA for weeks when you qualify for unemployment benefits and meet LWA eligibility requirements.

If you have questions, please get in touch with us via our Contact Us form. Through these trying times, we are happy to help serve Oregonians as best we can.


David Gerstenfeld
Acting Director of the Oregon Employment Department

For more information on unemployment benefits in Oregon, visit unemployment.oregon.govOregonians can also call 211 or go to 211info.org to find additional resources to help cover the cost of housing, health care, food, utility bills and other costs.