GDOL issues information on the Continued Assistance Act of 2020
The Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) is preparing to administer the new Continued Assistance Act of 2020 (CAA) to Guam claimants. Signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 27, 2020, the second relief package extends federal unemployment programs including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).
The information below is based upon the most recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor and GDOL is expecting further guidance to be issued. This website will be updated frequently.
Overview and Implementation Details
The second COVID relief package extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program from Dec. 27, 2020, through April 5, 2021. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program will be reinstated from Dec. 27, 2020 to March 13, 2021.
The new law extends the benefit cap from 39 weeks to 50 weeks, adding an additional 11 weeks of benefits to qualified individuals. Claimants from the first COVID relief program who maxed out their benefit can now qualify for another 11 weeks starting Dec. 27, 2020 if their employment and income continues to be affected as a direct result of COVID-19.
Guam’s PUA Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) remains at $345 a week and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) will provide 11 weeks of an additional $300 weekly benefit on top of the $345 PUA WBA to eligible claimants.
As part of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act, the Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) will stand up the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Program that will assist thousands of individuals whose jobs have been impacted by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program
The Government of Guam, along with the Guam Department of Labor (GDOL), is currently working with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to create the guidelines and application process for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
The PUA program provides temporary benefits to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of COVID-19. Direct result means loss of employment or self-employment because of a reason directly related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The PUA program, in general, provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits. Guam’s PUA Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA) is $345 a week. Employees who have been laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19 qualify for the full amount. Employees still working but making less than $345 a week qualify for PUA minus their wages. Those making $345 or more do not qualify for PUA.
The process for applying also is currently being created by both the USDOL and GDOL. Mandatory quarantine procedures are also taken into consideration to ensure the safety of everyone and to create the best possible option.
Lost Wages Assistance Program
Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) is a federal program that adds $300 of unemployment benefits for up to six weeks. President Donald Trump established the LWA program, a temporary addition to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. It replaces the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which expired at the end of July that provided an additional $600 to unemployment benefits.
CLICK LINK FOR FAQ: LWA Frequently Asked Questions
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) is an emergency program designed to increase unemployment benefits for millions of Americans, including Guamanians, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the FPUC, eligible people will get an extra $600 in federal benefits each week from the start of April until July 31, 2020.
An individual is eligible for the full $600 weekly payment if the individual receives one dollar ($1) or more in PUA.