The Lost Wages Assistance program was supposed to start in Pennsylvania today.

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Almost as soon as it began in Pennsylvania, the federal government is ending the $300-a-week in extra unemployment benefits.

The Lost Wages Assistance program, which was supposed to start Thursday in Pennsylvania, has ended. The Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak learned late last night from FEMA that the program was done on Saturday.

A notice on the Department of Labor and Industry’s website says that Sept. 5 is the last week for the extra $300-a-week benefit “due to the fund’s depletion.” It stresses this was not a state decision.

“Although the LWA program has ended, L&I will continue paying eligible claimants retroactively for claim weeks between August 1 and September 5,” said Secretary Oleksiak in a statement.

“We will continue making these payments until the funding we’ve already received from FEMA for this program is depleted. I urge anyone who is partially or fully unemployed because of COVID-19 and hasn’t yet applied for LWA benefits to do so right away.”

According to the state: eligible people need to apply for the extra $300-a-week, and Oleksiak is encouraging people to apply “right away” because the payments will be made until the funding the state already received runs out.

The Lost Wages Assistance Program is retroactive to Aug. 1 and those who qualify will receive a one-time lump sum payment for the five pay periods in August. People who have already applied could see the benefits as early as Sept. 14.

The program was supposed to last until December, or until the funding ran out.

You can apply and learn more online.