$1.35M in PUA claims ahead of Oct. 27 deadline for weekly online filing

ASSISTANCE: In this July 29, 2020, file photo, pandemic-displaced workers line up to enter the Guam Department of Labor Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Center at Guam Community College in Mangilao. Oct. 27 is the last day for GDOL to accept a weekly PUA claim. Post file photo

Some $1.35 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims was batched on Tuesday, the second to the last time pandemic-hit workers can file their weekly claims online, Guam Department of Labor Director David Dell'Isola said on Wednesday.

"Oct. 27, online weekly claims filing will be turned off. Please all claimants, file your outstanding weeks even if you have issues. We can correct the one filed after that date, but can't file new ones for you after," Dell'Isola said.

While Oct. 27 is the last day for GDOL to accept a weekly PUA claim online, GDOL has until March 31, 2022 to satisfy and clear PUA overpayments.

The weekly eligibility for PUA ended on Sept. 4. After that, people continued to file PUA claims that they weren't able to file for weeks or months.

Guam saw more than $20 million in biweekly PUA claims last year, before plummeting to less than $10 million and then to $1.35 million.

The claims batched on Tuesday, inclusive of $113,000 for taxes, should be able to reach the claimants early next week. The amounts are broken down as follows:

  • $645,000 in PUA
  • $682,000 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
  • $15,000 in Lost Wages Assistance

This brings to more than $806.35 million the amount of assistance processed and paid out to as many as 30,000-plus workers who got laid off, furloughed or had work hours cut as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PUA is the single largest pandemic relief program for Guam, which received a federal budget of $1.065 billion, which also covers administrative costs.

Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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