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$50M more in aid for Guam's jobless

25K workers covered in $400 added weekly pay

 

GETTING HELP: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance staff member Peter Santos checks the temperatures of unemployment aid applicants before ushering them into the PUA processing center at Guam Community College on June 15. The island's unemployment assistance program received $50 million more, covering cleared claims through July 28. Post file photo.

 

The U.S. Department of Labor is making available $50 million more for the island's unemployment assistance program and the next batch of payouts will likely cover cleared claims through July 28, Guam Department of Labor Director David Dell'Isola said on Friday.

"The additional $50 million brings us to more than half a billion dollars in unemployment benefits for the people of Guam in three months," Dell'Isola said. 

This is the third installment of funding for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that the Guam Department of Labor administers locally:

  • First installment: $276 million
  • Second installment: $185 million
  • Third installment: $50 million
  • Total so far: $511 million

Guam Labor requested a $924 million PUA budget for an estimated 38,000 displaced workers through December. 

 

As of this week, $324 million in PUA payouts and taxes have circulated in the local economy. The new $50 million is expected to be loaded into the system by this weekend.

$400 a week 

Guam on Wednesday submitted its application for the Lost Wages Assistance program, which provides $400 in additional weekly assistance to those displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dell'Isola said.

This program authorized by President Donald Trump is in addition to the weekly PUA of up to $345.

Dell'Isola said his agency received feedback from the local office of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on how to "strengthen" the application by providing additional information.

Under the proposal, Guam expects that the program will cover 25,000 displaced workers, Dell'Isola said.

The program covers three weeks of unemployment, from July 26 to Aug. 15, he said.

FEMA will cover 75% of the costs while Guam, or any participating state or territory, will cover the remaining 25%.

Guam's request to FEMA is about $22.5 million, and Guam will shoulder the remaining cost of about $7.5 million.

If there is still funding left after states and territories' applications are approved, then they could be eligible to apply for two more weeks of benefits for displaced workers, Dell'Isola said.

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