$600 weekly unemployment assistance ending this week

GDOL PUA processing center (PNC file photo)

While millions of dollars in unemployment money is being distributed on Guam, this will be the last work week for residents receiving the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) bump.

That $600 bumped unemployed and furloughed employees’ unemployment assistance from just $345 dollars per week to $945 a week!

And it all ends this week.

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David Dell’Isola, Guam Department of Labor Director, said: “You do your weekly claims. So, the FPUC expires this week…this is the last full workweek in the month.”

Even though technically the top-up ends July 31 on paper, Aug. 1 is actually a Saturday, meaning that the whole last week of July doesn’t count since one day rolls into the next month.

“That was the whole point of this … to help people survive while you’re out of work. The extra $600 was an added benefit because during the quarantine you couldn’t really go out and look for work and your bills were piling up. So, theoretically, the $600 was there in place, during massive layoffs and nobody is rebuilding. So that’s what Congress is going to have to do now…is figure out, if the nation ready to go back to work,” Dell’Isola said.

House Democrats have already passed a second CARES Act legislation that seeks to extend the FPUC top-up and send out another round of stimulus. It’s now in the Republican-led Senate.

“And if they pass it, it’s very easy to flip the switch and keep it going on. It’s not going to mean any extra work as far as the program or anything,” Dell’Isola said.

The FPUC top-up was set up for April through the last work week in July while the $345 PUA will be paid out to affected residents until the end of December.

After this week, qualified residents will only be getting the portion of the $345 they qualified for.

As of today, some 32,000 island residents have so far applied for unemployment benefits and GDOL is prepping to send out the 6th batch of unemployment claims for early next week. That will cover clean claims through July 1. However, the total batch amount is not yet known.