Unemployment payments back on track; re-batched after Tuesday’s cancellation

(PNC file photo)

Unemployment payments are back on track after the latest batch had to be canceled Tuesday.

On the air with Newstalk K57 Wednesday, David Dell’Isola, the GDOL Director, said the unusual amount of fraudulent claims, which led to the cancellation of the latest batch, was the result of a misunderstanding between the department and their vendor.

Dell’Isola said the issue was that the vendor batched beyond the August 23rd cut off they requested, meaning claims that weren’t already vetted got into the list, leading to the high amount of fraud.

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“So that was what the issue was…just those few days whacked the numbers up with thousands and thousands of fraud,” said Dell’Isola.

“We scrub all that fraud every day and we move the date for when to batch. So [August] 24th, 25th, 26th…those are riddled with fraud and we go in there and we clean every day. So the next batch we’ll give them those days that we cleaned and scrubbed through…then the extra fraud measures are added, and then they’re batched out from there. All those things weren’t actually caught in those extra days that we didn’t actually scrub.”

GDOL ‘pulls plug’ on this week’s unemployment batch due to high percentage of fraud

The batch total is $13 million and should still be hitting bank accounts for electronic payments early next week. Checks typically follow by a few days.

The $13 million total from the updated and clean batch, comes as a contrast to the original $32 million GDOL received back on Tuesday in the unvetted batch; that’s more than double in mostly fraud.

Dell’Isola said the stateside software vendor pulled an all-nighter to ensure the batch came through the same day as GDOL requested. 

So far, the Guam Department of Labor has paid out over $390 million in unemployment claims for island residents.

In addition, Dell’Isola says the appeals process is also now in place and they began hearing appeals Tuesday.

There are over 200 people so far who are either appealing their denial of benefits or were overpaid and fighting to keep the money.

The office of appeals is set up at the Civil Service Office in the Bell Tower building. There will also be a virtual option for people to use ZOOM if they prefer not coming in for their appeal. 

All appeal hearings must be pre-scheduled.