To date, the CNMI Department of Labor has received nearly 5,000 applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Unemployment Compensation programs.
To ensure the integrity of these federal programs, each PUA application is carefully reviewed as the data is entered into the Department of Labor’s online portal. In addition, more than 2,000 inquiries have been received via the CNMI DOL telephone lines, the PUA/FPUC designated hotlines, and the PUA/FPUC email.
To assist the PUA applicant with their application processing, note the following:
– The term “unemployment,” as it relates to PUA means you have been furloughed, laid-off, or working reduced hours as a result of COVID-19.
– On the initial PUA application, the “last day work” is the date your employment was affected as a result of COVID-19. For those who were furloughed, laid-off, or working hours less than customary hours, that is the date this took effect for the PUA applicant.
We have also received numerous reports from PUA claimants that they are experiencing challenges with the online portal, such as:
– “The ‘Northern Mariana Islands’ is not an option for STATE.” To resolve this issue, indicate “U.S. Minor Outlying Islands” for STATE.
– “After completing the Initial PUA Claim, PUA Claimants are given a Claims Summary and the Weekly Benefit Amount of $173.” This is an error on the online portal that has been brought to the attention to the Web provider for improvement and correction.
A second webinar is being planned for early July, which will focus on the initial PUA Application and the Weekly Benefit Request.
The CNMI Department of Labor has installed additional telephone numbers for PUA inquiries: 670-664-3296, 670-664-3297, 670-664-3299, and 670-664-3296. (PR)