Nevada will apply for Lost Wages Assistance Program funding |

Nevada will apply for Lost Wages Assistance Program funding

FILE - In this March 17, 2020, file photo, people wait in line for help with unemployment benefits at the One-Stop Career Center in Las Vegas. Nevada is fast-tracking the hiring of temporary unemployment office workers to deal with a wave of benefits claims that followed the mid-March closure of casinos and other businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Steve Sisolak said Monday, May 11, 2020, that letting the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation hire contractors and rehire retirees or former employees to process claims alongside regular state workers should help get insurance benefits more quickly to more out-of-work Nevadans.
AP Photo/John Locher

Gov. Steve Sisolak has directed the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to apply for the added Lost Wages Assistance program created by President Trump.

Trump issued an executive order creating the program after Congress was unable to agree on extending wage assistance from the federal government. But instead of adding $600 a week to unemployed payments, the program is offering just $300 a week in federal cash — if the states that join the program provide an additional $100.

Sisolak said the state’s $100 weekly share would come from the existing unemployment payments for all those receiving at least that much in benefits. In addition, the PUA claimants, the program for those self-employed and otherwise not normally eligible for unemployment, can also receive weekly funding under this program.

Sisolak and DETR officials said the state just doesn’t have the cash to contribute the additional $100 over and above the existing benefits because of Nevada’s severe budget cuts and huge unemployment rate.

“I remain disappointed that the president and the Senate majority did not come to the table to negotiate an extension of the fully federally funded unemployment program at a time when state and local governments are facing severe budget shortfalls and many workers are jobless through no fault of their own,” he said.

Sisolak said he is grateful the LWA program will provide some help to the jobless, but added that, “this new short term benefit is simply not enough to sufficiently help all those who need it.”

DETR officials say eligible claimants will likely not see payments until four to six weeks after Nevada’s application is approved but that they could see retroactive payments back to Aug. 1 when the original program expired.

In the meantime, Sisolak said he and other governors will continue to push for a federally funded solution to the ongoing hardships workers are facing.