Childcare no longer covered by PUA unemployment benefit

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GDOL PUA processing center (PNC file photo)

With the end of the school year, the U.S. Department of Labor announces new guidance on qualifying for pandemic unemployment benefits. Many applicants claiming option (dd) as a COVID-19 related reason to be unemployed or underemployed under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, will no longer be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Option (dd) in the CARES Act states an individual is covered if: “a child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID–19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work.”

“This means that during the school year when campuses were closed due to COVID-19,
parents and guardians qualified for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if they had to resign from their jobs or reduce their hours due to lack of childcare. Because the school year is now over, this is no longer a qualifying reason. Summer schools and summer camps are open. Whatever parents typically did for childcare during the summer months pre COVID applies, which allows parents to go back to work,” said Guam Department of Labor Director David Dell’Isola.

Very few exceptions may still qualify under the (dd) rule but must be justified.

Claimants may also still qualify under the other criteria listed in the most recent CARES act
guidance:

● You have been diagnosed with or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are
seeking a medical diagnosis;
● A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
● You are providing care for a family member or a member of your household who has
been diagnosed with COVID-19;
● You are unable to reach your place of employment because of a quarantine or
stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
● You are unable to reach your place of employment because you have been advised by
a health care provider to self-isolate or quarantine because you are positive for or may
have had exposure to someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19;
● You were scheduled to start a new job and do not have an existing job or are unable to
reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
● You have become the breadwinner/major supporter for a household because the head
of your household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
● You had to quit your job due to being diagnosed with COVID-19 and being unable to
perform your work duties;
● Your place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
● You worked as an independent contractor with reportable income and COVID-19 has
severely limited your ability to continue performing your work activities and/ or has
forced you to suspend such activities for one of the above COVID-19 reasons.
● You have been denied continued unemployment benefits because you refused to work
or accept an offer of work at a worksite that is not in compliance with local, state, or
national health and safety-related to Covid-19. These health and safety measures
include, but are not limited to, facial mask-wearing, physical distancing measures, or the
provision of personal protective equipment consistent with public health guidelines.
● You provide services to an educational institution or educational service agency and are
unemployed or partially unemployed because of volatility in the work schedule that is
directly caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. This includes, but is not
limited to, changes in schedules and partial closures; or
● Your work hours have been reduced or you have been laid off as a direct result of the
COVID-19 public health emergency.

PUA is scheduled to end on Sept. 4. We encourage dislocated workers to go to our free one-stop job bank hireguam.com and contact the American Job Center in order to find out more about job openings and training opportunities. Case managers are available to help you with the next steps on your career path.

For more information on the unemployment assistance programs, call 311, 735-0527 or 735-0532 on weekdays. For login issues, email webadmin@dol.guam.gov. For claim or weekly certification issues, email pua.hotline@dol.guam.gov.

(GDOL Release)

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