Guam receives approval for initial $276M for unemployment programs

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The Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) was recently notified of the approval of its initial increment of funds in the amount of $276 million toward the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Programs.

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) accepted Guam’s budget request that was sent on April 28 for both the PUA and FPUC Programs.

The USDOL intends to provide the federal PUA and FPUC funds to Guam in increments, with the initial increment to be received next week. As funding is expended, the federal government will provide additional increments to ensure benefits can be paid.

The PUA program provides up to $345 dollars to qualified individuals through the end of December, and the FPUC program provides an additional $600 to those that qualify for PUA through the end of July. Benefits may be retroactive to the end of January, depending on the circumstances of each individual. Additional details will be released shortly.

“We are one step closer to providing these unemployment benefits to our people who have been waiting patiently for our government and the federal government to properly establish this very complex program,” stated Governor Lou Leon Guerrero in a news release. “Along with the first batch of Cash Assistance Program checks we released on Friday—and the Economic Impact Payments that are expected to be released over the next two weeks—more assistance for our people will be available.”

“I want to credit my staff at the GDOL for their continued resolve in working to stand up this 80-year old program in a matter of weeks,” stated GDOL Director David Dell’Isola. “The work continues to ensure that we establish a PUA and FPUC Program that incorporates the control mechanisms and proper execution required to keep the program going through December 30, 2020.”

GDOL continues to finalize its online application portal to promote social distancing in addition to telephone and appointment-based options. An entire physical operations and call center will be opened for the submission, adjudication, and processing of applications and to answer questions about this new-to-Guam program.

Employers and businesses are urged to register on hireguam.com as soon as possible. Once verified, employers can input data on employees affected by the COVID-19.

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