GDOL set to release $50M ‘mega’ batch of unemployment payments

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The Guam Department of Labor is getting ready to send out a “mega” batch of payments after hitting the “pause” button last week because of increased suspicious activity.

More processed days added in for clean claims means this week’s batch of unemployment payments is about double in size, covering clean claims up to July 11.

That will cover some 7,000 people awaiting their lump-sum payments and total over $50 million.

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GDOL director Dave Dell’Isolla confirmed to PNC News that the total claimants approved thus far are 28,500 and 21,000 of those have already been released, leaving the 7,000 or so in the wings.

There are also around 2000 cases that are still stuck in limbo and awaiting processing…

He says teams are working to get through those cases.

“Right now, most of the easy claims are in. We’re reaching out to those people who don’t pay taxes, who had a sustenance living, who had a small business, self-employed…the ones that are really difficult…we’re reaching out to them. We’re telling them to get into groups and we’re handling them as a group,” Dell’Isola said.

Dell’Isola says he knows some people haven’t applied altogether because they’re worried about ending up fraudulent somehow.

“Some work by donations,. Some, they’ll take a chicken for you to heal them, or they’ll take a rooster, or a couple of eggs, or they’ll take cash… but they suffered (during the COVID-pandemic) too. So, if the people are out there and are legitimately scared about their affected income, we’re not the IRS, we’re not trying to go after you asking ‘why didn’t you pay taxes’…we’re out to help you survive if you had an income and it was affected,” Dell’Isola said.

Dell’Isola says if this is your case, reach out to GDOL so they can help you file some kind of clean claim.

“We are reaching out to those people that take 2-3 hours to file claims in because we have to find very unique ways of validating their story and we help them validate. Whether we have to call the Mayor, or whether we have to give them a separate letter for them to write up how they made their money so that if the feds audit it, we can say we helped them and we validated them,” Dell’Isola said.

This week’s mega-batch of unemployment payments will be one of the last with the $600 FPUC bump.

Congress has yet to come to an agreement on extending that weekly top-up, with the Democrats digging their heels in insisting on continuing the $600 payment and the Republicans in the Senate pushing their own bill and proposing a major scaledown to only $200 a week.

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Mai Habib
Mai Habib is a radio and television broadcaster and journalist originally from Toronto, Canada. She worked at CTV News and CFRA in Canada for over 5-years, where she was a reporter, anchor and show host. After a brief stop in Canadian politics and the non-profit world, she's happy to be back at the news desk on Guam. Mai is a graduate of Ryerson University's journalism program and completed her Master's in International Affairs and Public Policy at Carleton University. She is excited to be reporting on Guam's current affairs, legislature and other topical issues.