Over 400 CNMI employers register for unemployment assistance

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The CNMI Department of Labor says many CNMI-based businesses are now filing for unemployment assistance following the approval of the implementation plan for the program.

Over 400 employers have already registered for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA program, according to a statement made by CNMI Department of Labor Secretary Vicky I. Benavente on Wednesday.

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She said that constitutes about half of the employers in DOL’s system, adding that employees can begin filing for PUA as soon as the CNMI government receives funding from the U.S. Department of Labor.

She added that the CNMI DOL has not received an official statement from USDOL as to whether or not CW-1 employees will be eligible for PUA.

CNMI DOL received its award notice from USDOL Regional Administrator Nicholas Lalpuis earlier this week. Benavente is hoping that the money for PUA and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will be transferred to the Commonwealth very soon.

Governor Ralph Torres also announced last week that the US Department of Labor also approved the CNMI’s Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program plan. The federal agency approved an initial release of $70.5 million for both federal assistance programs.

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