Guam DOL: A step-by-step PUA application tutorial now on YouTube

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The Guam Department of Labor has put together a step-by-step video guide explaining how to fill out the application and weekly certifications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

It will answer your questions about the process and teach you how to apply for Guam’s 2020 PUA Program benefits.

You can see the video on the Department of Labor’s new YouTube channel by clicking on this link >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfhMIjqqTHA

The video is a detailed tutorial on how to navigate the online-only based application — from registering  your account on hireguam.com to filing weekly certifications.

“Unemployment verbiage is almost like a foreign language, but this tutorial should help translate it into something everyone can understand,” said Guam DOL Director David Dell’Isola. “Because it’s a federally regulated program there are certain questions and terminology we can’t remove from the application.”

Dell’Isola said they have worked with the software vendor to simplify the process as much as possible “while also trying to get the application up and running as quickly as possible for the people of Guam.”

The most common confusion in the language is the meaning of “unemployed.”

A person is unemployed if they are laid off, furloughed or working but at reduced hours. In order to qualify for unemployment assistance, applicants must fall into one of those 3 categories.

When the application asks if you are unemployed, you must answer “yes.”

Even if you have returned to work or found a new job, but are not back to your regular hours or wages, you are still considered “unemployed.”

Avoid user errors- they will cause delays in payments

If you have returned to work full time, keep the actual week you are filing your claim in mind as you answer the questions.  They may go back for weeks.  The system will clearly show the week for which you are answering questions.  One of the biggest problems applicants encounter is for those workers who are working at reduced hours and don’t understand the question:

“Were you still unemployed as a direct result of this disaster/pandemic during the week beginning Saturday X-XX-2020 and ending Sunday X-XX-2020?”

  • If you are working at reduced hours or are fully laid off/furloughed — answer “yes.”
  • If you are back to work full time or at your normal part time hours – answer “no.”

This user error is the biggest problem that flags weekly claims processing and payment could be held up until PUA staff can contact the claimant and clarify.

Weekly certification tip – file on time

After completing the initial application, remember to continue filing weekly certifications every week. You must wait for the week to end and then first.  File your weekly claims no earlier than the next Monday and no later than Friday.  If an applicant misses two weeks of certifications, the system will automatically think the individual is no longer unemployed.

Claimants may not be able to go back and enter the certification information themselves, but will have to contact the Guam PUA adjudication team to enter information for the missing weeks by emailing pua.hotline@dol.guam.gov.

There may be delays for requests for staff assistance as call and email volumes are very high.