Disaster unemployment aid

The CNMI Department of Labor is now accepting applications for Disaster Unemployment Assistance for workers on Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and the Northern Islands.

The program provides payment and re-employment assistance for people who lost their job because of a major disaster.

The disaster assistance period for Super Typhoon Yutu is Oct. 28, 2018, to April 27, 2019.

Who can apply for DUA?
Individuals who worked in the major disaster area at the time of the disaster and are totally, part-totally, or partially unemployed as a direct result of the disaster may apply for DUA.

The following conditions may apply:

• The individual is unable to reach his/her place of employment due to the disaster;
• The individual was scheduled to start work and the job no longer exists or the individual is unable to reach the job;T
• The individual became the breadwinner or major support because the head of the household died as a direct result of the disaster; or
• The individual cannot work because of an injury caused as a direct result of the major disaster
• The individual’s work hours have been reduced as a direct result of the major disaster.
• Individuals who wish to receive DUA benefits must provide proof of identity and demonstrate their status as U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or qualified aliens.

Qualified aliens include:

• Legal permanent resident (“green card” holder)
• An asylee, refugee, or an alien whose deportation is being withheld
• Alien paroled into the U.S. for at least one year
• Alien granted conditional entry (per law in effect prior to April 1, 1980)
• Cuban/Haitian entrant
• Aliens in the U.S. who have been abused, subject to battery or extreme cruelty by a spouse or other family/household member, or have been a victim of a severe form of human trafficking
• Aliens whose children have been abused and alien children whose parent has been abused who fit certain criteria

Application deadline
Individuals may apply for DUA if they’ve been unemployed since Oct. 24, 2018.

DUA is available for individuals who have lost their jobs, had their regular work hours reduced, or were self-employed individuals but are no longer able to work as a direct result of Super Typhoon Yutu.

Individuals must file applications for DUA within 30 days and by Dec. 16, 2018.

How and where to apply
Claimants may apply for DUA either in person, by mail, or by phone. DUA applications and other forms may be obtained on Saipan at the Springs Plaza in Gualo Rai, Unit 5; Rota Mayor’s Office in Tatachog; or on Tinian at Edu’s Plaza in San Jose.

Individuals applying by phone should have their social security number available when calling, along with the name and address of their last employer or prospective employer of record or basic information regarding their business, if self-employed. Phone applications can be made by calling any of the following numbers Monday through Friday between 9am through 3pm: Saipan: 788-4180, 788-4183, 788-4768, 788-4769; Tinian: 287-0411, 783-2005; and Rota: 532-9479.

Required documents
To receive DUA, individuals must provide all required documentation in-person at one of the above locations within 21 days from the date the claim was filed; documentation must provide evidence of employment or self-employment or work that was to commence at the time of the disaster.

Examples of required documentation (due within 21 days) include but are not limited to:

• A government issued picture identification (Driver’s license, passport, alien registration card, etc.)
• Social Security Card
• Copies of the most recent federal income tax form(s), check stubs, and other proof of earnings
Evidence of self-employment earnings, business license, including financial documents such as 2017 Federal/CNMI income tax forms, profit and loss statement, and proof of business loss due to the disaster.

Individuals must provide proof of identity and citizenship (U.S. citizen, U.S. national or qualified alien) and proof that they are legally authorized to work in CNMI. If it is later discovered that an individual is not a qualified alien and/or is not authorized to work due to a false statement made by the individual, any DUA paid will be overpaid. DUA payments are not subject to any waiver provisions and, therefore, any overpayments established must be repaid in full.

Further information
Individuals who are determined eligible for DUA must file weekly claim certifications (to demonstrate their continued eligibility) either in person or by phone using any of the above listed numbers between the hours of 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Individuals who file a DUA claim will receive information about their benefit rights and responsibilities. To remain eligible for DUA, individuals must be able to work and be available for work, unless injured as a direct result of the disaster. Continued eligibility is determined on a week-by-week basis.

Individuals who lie to obtain DUA will be required to repay all benefits collected and may be subject to prosecution.

The CNMI DOL reminds that applications for DUA must be filed within 30 days from this date. (PR)

Press Release
News under Press Release are official statements issued to Saipan Tribune giving information on a particular matter.

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