The criteria to be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance has been updated in the hireguam.com PUA system.
On Feb. 5, the US Department of Labor approved additional eligibility criteria for PUA, one of the most impactful was the inclusion of workers on reduced hours.
As of Sunday, the hireguam.com system modifications were completed and applicants can select the added criteria when filing their claims.
The new options on the system covers workers who were laid off or had their hours reduced, but their employers remain open. Workers who were denied PUA because they refused to work at a worksite that was unsafe due to COVID-19 because the employer failed to meet local safety standards is also a new qualifying criteria; as well as for certain workers who provide services to educational institutions who are out of work due to schedule volatility.
There is also a new option for self-employed persons, which include freelancers, gig workers, and independent contractors. For self-employed persons, qualification is not based on hours worked. They may qualify for PUA but must show their income has been diminished significantly due to the public health emergency.
“The unsafe working conditions really wasn’t an issue here, but it is new guidance. What affected claimants the most was the reduced hours and self-employment. I’m grateful to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio for helping us pave the way to get our people monetary relief, as well as for the role Congressman Michael San Nicolas played in D.C.,” said Director David Dell’Isola.
All eligibility criteria are updated on the hireguam.com system. If they do not fit your situation, you have the option to select, “None of the above.”
The Department also wants to remind persons filing for PUA about the definition of “unemployed.”
“When filing your application, remember that the PUA program defines unemployed as completely laid off, temporarily unemployed or working less than your pre-pandemic hours as a direct result of COVID-19,” Dell’Isola said.
If you’re working a job full-time, you’re not considered unemployed even if you lost a part-time job because of the pandemic. If you worked part-time only prior to the pandemic, and are now back to working those same hours, you are also not considered unemployed.
For more information on the unemployment assistance programs go to dol.guam.gov.
For login issues, email email@example.com. For claim or weekly certification issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org.