GDOL: Up to 20 other states misinterpreted PUA program

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Guam Department of Labor director Dave Dell’Isola spoke with Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo Wednesday morning to discuss his appearance at Monday’s legislative hearing.

Dell’Isola said that even the U.S. Department of Labor admitted that when the coronavirus relief program started there were so many new details, they understand that things got confusing.

They say that for this reason, they don’t blame jurisdictions that improperly implemented the PUA program.

Dell’Isola said that between 15 and 20 other states made similar misinterpretations of PUA.

It was announced just prior to the current round of COVID-related unemployment benefits that employees working reduced hours due to the pandemic do not qualify for PUA.

Dell’Isola said that since the misinterpretation was so widespread, the U.S. Department of Labor said they only expect jurisdictions who got it wrong to correct the mistake moving forward.

He said that he, the Congressman, and the governor are continuing to find some way to change the policy.

Until then, Dell’Isola said he’s moving forward with the program as is.

Yesterday, the Guam Department of Labor batched $19 million in benefits.

That includes $9.4 million in PUA, $7.9 million in FPUC, $1.8 million in LWA, and $1.6 million in taxes.

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“You know, you look at all the refunds, the stimulus, things that are going on … money’s pumping into our economy. And I am praying and hoping that it’s going to where it’s needed. So we have a healthy injection of money for the last couple of weeks. And I will still just do my best to keep pumping that money out to those that are qualified,” Dell’Isola said.

The money is expected to hit bank accounts this weekend.

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