Governor Lou Leon Guerrero received the good news today that Guam is eligible to receive the federal pandemic unemployment program.
As recently as April 9, based on a conference call with states and territories held by the U.S. Department of Labor, the governor said Guam’s eligibility for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) was still being “determined.”
One day after the issuance of the governor’s letter to Rep. Bobby Scott, the chairman of the House labor committee, the governor said Adelup received guidance from USDOL that Guam and the territories are in fact eligible.
According to the governor, there are two federal programs for COVID-19 unemployment.
The first program is the pandemic unemployment compensation that will be given to people who are unemployed.
“Although we don’t have unemployment insurance here, we do qualify for the pandemic unemployment compensation. That is an amount that will look at the average payout of an employment insurance, roughly about $363 a week,” the governor said in her Facebook address this morning.
The second COVID-19 federal program is the federal pandemic unemployment compensation, which is the one that Adelup has been very aggressively working with the U.S. Department of Labor to clarify if Guam and the other territories are eligible for it.
“We qualify for those programs. We just got the word just about 10 minutes ago that Guam is eligible to receive the federal pandemic unemployment program. This is roughly about six hundred dollars a week. So these two programs — the federal pandemic unemployment compensation and a pandemic unemployment compensation — are two programs that we will be benefiting from. This gives us a total of about $960 a week,” the governor said.
According to the governor, the unemployment check is a weekly check that will be given to unemployed personnel. These are individuals that have been either furloughed, removed or hours decreased.
“I think it’s effective March 22. And so those people who apply and are approved and qualify will then be getting this amount weekly. It’s a 39-week employment benefit. The federal pandemic unemployment is a 13-weeks benefit. So simply, if you qualify, you will be able to get $960 for the first 13 weeks. Then, after the 13th week, up to 39 weeks, you will be getting the $364 a week,” the governor said.
The governor said this is a great benefit that will “bridge” individuals who need financial assistance until they get re-employed again.
“This is something that we’ve been really fighting for. We are eligible for it. And we will be also giving you details as we go along and into the processes and what you need to do. It’s an application process and we’re working to make it available online,” the governor said.
She added: “This application, you could also discuss it with your employers because our Department of Labor has been reaching out to businesses to make sure that they register in the employers’ portal. So good news for Guam. I know it’s not going to happen tomorrow, but there are other things that are going to be happening this week in terms of individual assistance to those people who have been affected in their employment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. So stay tuned. We have web sites you can go to. And Department of Labor will answer your questions.”