The Guam Department of Labor says it will no longer be batching unemployment payments every week, instead moving to an every two-week batching and payout cycle.
“There were so many issues after the last batch with claims…we had to scramble for several days to clean [it up],” said David Dell’Isola, the department’s director, in a statement to PNC News.
He says because batching has become such a labor-intensive process, with fraud making up some 90% of new claims submitted, they need the additional time between batches to catch up.
“Literally, we just finished wiping the sweat off our faces from getting this batch out and then next thing you know we have to get another batch out,” said Dell’Isola in an interview with K57’s Patti Arroyo Tuesday morning.
The last set of unemployment payments, totaling $15.6 million, was batched last Tuesday September 29. “It made it out but not much other work was complete [because of the efforts needed to clean it up],” said Dell’Isola.
Thus, GDOL decided that henceforth, it would batch every two weeks, “like a normal pay cycle.”
Dell’Isola said this will allow his team “a little more time to clear claims of fraud and issues.”
“I can’t say this enough, the fraud has zeroed in so precisely that it’s getting tougher and tougher to distinguish from the local claims,” said Dell’Isola.
Payments from the last $15.6 million batch should be received this week. There will be no payments next week as the department prepares the next group of claims, which will then be e-deposited or mailed out the week of October 19.
“Every other week, people will be getting money…just like a normal check cycle,” said Dell’Isola.
GDOL began face-to-face operations at their library locations as of Monday this week, on an appointment-only basis.
Residents can call 988-3672, 788-0729 or 689-1872 to make an appointment at either the Yona, Dededo or Agat library branches. Alternatively, residents can dial 311 and then press option 6.