The CNMI Department of Labor will begin accepting applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation as a result of COVID-19 for affected workers in the CNMI starting today, Feb. 16, 2021, through March 13, 2021.
What is PUA?
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. The PUA program, through the Continued Assistance Act, provides eligible applicants in the CNMI with 11 weeks of unemployment benefits starting on Dec. 27, 2020, to March 13, 2021.
What is FPUC?
Under the CAA, for weeks of unemployment beginning after Dec. 26, 2020 and ending on or before March 14, 2021, an individual collecting PUA may collect a $300 FPUC payment per week.
Who can apply for PUA/FPUC?
Due to the extensive nature of the eligibility conditions and requirements for PUA, consult the “PUA/FPUC Benefits Rights Information Handbook” found on the CNMI Department of Labor’s website at: http://www.marianaslabor.net, under “Forms and Publications” for details.
Application filing dates
Individuals may apply for PUA if they have had a week(s) of full or partial unemployment on or after Dec. 27, 2020, through March 13, 2021, as a result of COVID-19. Individuals may file applications for PUA starting today, Feb. 16, 2021, and ending March 13, 2021.
How and where to apply
ONLINE: Claimants may apply for PUA either online or in person. Submit a PUA application online at the following address: www.hiremarianas.com.
PAPER: PUA applications and other forms may also be obtained and submitted at either of the following location(s):
Saipan: Department of Labor
Division of Employment Services Building # 1334, Ascencion Dr., Capital Hill, Saipan, MP 96950
Rota: Northern Marianas College Room #A2
Rota, MP 96951
Tinian: Department of Labor Edu’s Plaza, 1st Floor San Jose Village Tinian, MP 96952
*NEW Paper Application Submission Instructions: To combat the effects of COVID-19, the Saipan PUA Program is strictly implementing the following application submission schedule from Feb. 16, 2021, to March 15, 2021 (Monday – Friday) from 8am to 3pm:
Monday: Only accepting paper application submissions for last names “A” to “C”
Tuesday: Only accepting paper application submissions for last names “D” to “H”
Wednesday: Only accepting paper application submissions for last names “I” to “M”
Thursday: Only accepting paper application submissions for last names “N” to “R”
Friday: Only accepting paper application submissions for last names “S” to “Z”
Important Notes: In consideration of the Feb. 16 opening date falling on a Tuesday, the department will also be accepting paper applications for last names beginning with “A” to “C” along with “D” to “H” only. In consideration of the application end date falling on a Saturday (March, 13, 2021), the department will accept paper application submissions on the Monday (March 15, 2021) following the deadline.
*NEW: Individuals filing a new PUA application on or after Jan. 31, 2021 (regardless of whether the claim is backdated), are required to provide documentation within 21 days of the application or the date the individual is directed to submit the documentation by CNMI DOL, whichever is later.
*NEW: Individuals who applied for PUA before Jan. 31, 2021, and receive a payment of PUA on or after Dec. 27, 2020 (regardless of which week ending date is being paid), are required to provide documentation substantiating employment or self-employment, or the planned commencement of employment or self-employment, within 90 days of the application or when directed to submit documentation by CNMI DOL, whichever is later.
To receive PUA, individuals must submit in-person or upload online the following:
(1) A government issued picture identification (driver’s license, passport, alien registration card, etc.), (2) Social Security Card number, (3) If applicable, copies of the most recent federal income tax form(s), check stubs, and other proof of earnings, and (4) If applicable, 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 who have questions about the PUA/FPUC programs are encouraged to email email@example.com or call any of the following numbers between 8:00 am through 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday, except on holidays.
Saipan: (670) 322-8870/71/ 72/73/74/76/77/78/79/80 or 989-9190/ 92/93/94 Rota: (670) 989-9001
Tinian: (670) 989-9000 or 433-0889
Individuals who are determined eligible for PUA must file weekly claim certifications (to demonstrate their continued eligibility) either in person or online by using any of the filing methods described above. Continued eligibility is determined on a week-by-week basis. Consult the “PUA/FPUC Benefits Rights Information Handbook” found on the CNMI Department of Labor’s website at: http://www.marianaslabor.net, under “Forms and Publications” for details.
Individuals who willfully conceal material facts or knowingly making false statement(s) to obtain PUA to which they are not entitled will be required to repay all benefits fraudulently collected and may be subject to prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 1001.
Individuals are encouraged to call 670-989-9095 to report any perceived instances of wrongdoing or fraud pertaining to the PUA/FPUC programs. (PR)