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.
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.