San Nicolas: Guam weekly unemployment payout could be up to $960 per week

Congressman Michael San Nicolas on Monday held an online news conference and laid out his suggestions for getting Guam residents federal coronavirus economic payments or unemployment assistance as soon as one week from now.

Congressman Michael San Nicolas says there’s no two ways about it — Guam is getting the same amount for unemployment assistance that every other state is.

The Congressman issued a release after Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said at her news conference yesterday that under current guidelines, unemployed people on Guam would only be getting $360 weekly.

That’s a far cry from the stateside national average, which will be around $930 a week.

The governor said that she’d be fighting hard for Guam to be getting that additional $600. But the Congressman on Friday told PNC that there’s nothing to fight for since Guam is defined as a state under this relief plan.

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“We also circled back with the Committee on Ways and Means, and they circled back with the Department of Labor, and everybody is on board with the interpretation. So we’re anticipating guidance from the Department of Labor coming out for the Government of Guam, to help them properly understand the way the law is translated,” San Nicolas said.

He added: “Guam is going to be getting pandemic unemployment assistance, and that portion of the law also includes on top of the average amount of the states that they receive from their programs, the additional $600 on top of that.”

According to San Nicolas, Guam’s weekly unemployment payout will be somewhere between $930 to $960 per week.

He says the U.S. Department of Labor is in the process of drafting their guidelines and finalizing that figure.

This week, Guam DOL Director Dave Del’Isola said they’re estimating around 38,000 island residents will need to file for pandemic unemployment assistance.