PUA program: Top 10 mistakes applicants make and how to correct them

Unemployment benefit call center at GCC

Since the release of Guam’s PUA online application process, the Guam Department of Labor has noticed many claimants are erroneously inputting information in many of the same areas or are making many of the same mistakes when registering and filing their weekly claims.

In an effort to correct future claimant errors, here is a list of the Top 10 Mistakes claimants often make.

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  1. Understanding the term unemployed. Unemployed, as it relates to PUA, means you have been furloughed, laid off for lack of work, or you are working reduced hours or less than your customary hours prior to COVID-19.
  2. When asked to provide your last day worked on your initial claim, remember to input the date your employment became affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, if you were furloughed or had reduced hours on March 20 and were recalled to work on June 1, you would list your last day worked as March 20 NOT June 1.
  3. You must be able and available for work. Able and available means that you can work and that if given the opportunity of employment that you would be willing to accept. If you claim you are not able and available to work, you will not be deemed eligible for PUA benefits.
  4. If the system doesn’t allow you to proceed to register for PUA based on your social security number, contact webadmin@dol.guam.gov to reset your account. Do NOT key in a fake number to try to proceed to register. Doing so would constitute as fraud.
  5. Upload documents to identify yourself, to verify employment and income and strengthen your claim. If you have not uploaded these documents, sign into your account and do so, otherwise, you may wait to be contacted by a DOL customer service representative. To avoid delays in receiving benefits, the documents you upload must be legible as it WILL be reviewed in determining your eligibility. If you are on a work visa or have a green card, you should upload these documents instead of mailing or faxing it in.
  6. Whether you have one or more jobs, you MUST claim ALL income received for each week you file a claim. For example, if you have two jobs and remain gainfully employed by one but lose the other or have your hours reduced, you must input income received from each source. To do this, make sure you add an employer for each of your jobs, whether or not they were affected, at the work history portion of the registration process. When inputting income received, you MUST account for wages earned, paid leave, pension, or any other taxable income received for that week. Do NOT file a separate claim if you have two or more jobs.
  7. Do NOT send your personal information via email if you are requesting assistance on a claim. Providing your claim number, first and last name and the last four numbers of your social security number is sufficient enough for us to pull your claim and assist.
  8. If you opt for receiving your benefits via direct deposit, double and triple check that your bank routing and account numbers are correct. This is where you will receive your benefits so make sure it is going to the correct account.
  9. If you are unsure of how to respond to any of the questions, STOP and contact the Guam Department of Labor by calling 311. Doing this will ensure your completed claim is correct and will save you from contacting us for technical issues to resolve as we are experiencing a high volume of claimant errors and requests to resolve.
  10. Take the time to review your application and weekly certifications to ensure they are error free to expedite receiving your benefits. Remember upon submitting your claim you are certifying that all the information provided is true and correct, and that you acknowledge that any false statements are punishable by law and could result in a fine, imprisonment, restitution and a loss of future benefits.

However, for applications and claims that are complete and error free, the Guam Department of Labor will process claimant benefits within 21 days of receipt.

For more information on how the Guam Department of Labor can assist you, visit our website at dol.guam.gov.