President Joe Biden today approved Guam’s request for a waiver of the 25 percent matching fund requirement for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, saving upward of $11 million.
The LWA program receives funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration's (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund.
Under this program, eligible claimants receive a supplemental payment of $300 per week, for up to six weeks, in addition to their weekly unemployment benefit amount. To date, the Guam Department of Labor has issued nearly $35 million as part of the LWA program.
“These unemployment benefits have been a lifeline for our people during these unprecedented times, and I remain grateful to the men and women at the Guam Department of Labor who have worked tirelessly to get the People of Guam the help they need,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.
“This approval is a testament to our strong partnership with FEMA, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Biden Administration, and we will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure our island receives equitable assistance to strengthen our economy, build our infrastructure, help our people, and rebuild a stronger Guam.”
“The partnership between our local Department of Labor and their federal counterpart has helped our island get the assistance it needs as efficiently and quickly as possible. Many states have had unemployment programs for decades, and the Guam Department of Labor built this local program in a matter of months. We extend our appreciation to the Biden Administration for ensuring Guam is part of their plan to build back better,” added Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio.