GDOL to address ‘user errors’ in unemployment claims

GDOL PUA processing center (PNC file photo)

The Guam Department of Labor is shifting focus and zooming in on thousands of applications with user errors and GDOL employees are working right through this July 4th weekend.

GDOL Director Dave Dell’Isola says they’re getting killed with “user errors” — everything from wrong banking information to incorrect addresses and missing documentation.

So they’re changing their game plan to support that demand.

“And we’re now shifting towards this weekend. Tomorrow, we’re going to start laying out a new strategy, because we feel that we’ve been concentrating mostly on getting applications in. And we’ll still continue, but we can start scaling down because now we have over 30,000 claims and we need to start circling back and hitting those claims that have holds, issues, and problems,” Dell’Isola said.

With the added fraud prevention technology and catching potentially bogus claims, GDOL staff power is now being shifted to help with the user error clean-up.

By early next week, GDOL’s third batch of unemployment benefits will go out totaling around $41 million for clean claims up to June 12 and all the weekly certification payments for earlier paid residents as well.

If the Electronic Funds Transfer information is incorrect on your application, and you’re due for a payment, Dell’Isola says the system will eventually issue you a check after trying several times to EFT the money.

GDOL says it has worked out most of the system bugs with the vendor.

Some previously reported system glitches were users not being able to input their weekly certifications because the system would skip weeks or months, and people filling in their application correctly and still getting $0 are their benefit total.

Dell’Isola says those earlier system issues have been resolved and the reality is, thousands of applications are on hold are because of some sort of user error.

The DOL hotlines are also now getting many calls, with people worried they got overpaid and don’t want to get in trouble with the law.

GDOL has been flooded with peculiar issues as well, according to Dell’Isola, like people who originally put a relative’s banking information for direct deposit or someone else’s address, but now need to change that.

And since the application cannot be changed by the user once it’s submitted, GDOL staff have to go in one-by-one through the back end of the program.

“You’re supposed to call in. But we are, we do have staff, like today, where we’re not accepting claims today and we have a staff at GCC. They’re all there. They’re just calling and trying to circle around. Especially those that were put on hold from May 31 that had issues. They’re now circling around and chipping away at those,” Dell’Isola said.

He added: “Don’t get angry, we’ll circle around, we’ll fix it, but expect delays.”