With yesterday’s confusion over the next round of PUA, Congressman Michael San Nicolas urged the island to stay calm while his office seeks clarification on the matter.
But Guam Department of Labor Director Dave Dell’Isola says he doesn’t have time to wait.
Dell’Isola told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo this morning that it wasn’t an announcement he took lightly. But because the program is being fast-tracked, he felt it would be safer to tell those with reduced hours to not apply for PUA.
He said he’s turning on the system today and will be batching the first group of payments by Tuesday.
Although he agrees with Congressman San Nicolas’ assessment that there shouldn’t be a change of eligibility based on the law, Dell’Isola said he confirmed the change with his federal counterparts.
With such a compressed time frame, Dell’Isola feared that if he didn’t warn people that they’re no longer eligible for PUA, they might receive money but then be on the hook to reimburse the federal government.
Dell’Isola says he’d be more than happy to find out that he’s wrong. But until then, he urges those with reduced hours to exercise caution and not apply for PUA just yet.
“Those people with reduced hours..hold off. Wait. This is what I understood it to be based on the latest guidance I have. I hope I’m wrong. I hope that there’s a new interpretation or maybe something will change. But until that time, don’t file. And if we can get it corrected, great. If it’s not corrected, then you’ll have no over payment. But in the meanwhile, I’m going to pay those people who are unemployed totally,” he said.
Del’Isolla says he, the governor, and Congressman San Nicolas are all reaching out to the federal government to resolve the issue.