PUA applications soon accepted

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The CNMI Department of Labor will start accepting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applications next week.

In a news statement yesterday, it said that DOL will begin accepting applications for PUA and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation from Feb. 16, 2021, through March 13, 2021. Claimants may apply for PUA either online or in person. 

Individuals who can apply for PUA are U.S. nationals and qualified aliens who reside and work in the CNMI who 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. This includes CNMI-Only Transitional Workers.

Those on reduced hours or were furloughed may apply for PUA if they have documents to prove that their employment was interrupted due to “acceptable” COVID-19-related reasons.

Acceptable COVID-19 related reasons to qualify for PUA are:

The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis;

A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;

The individual is providing care for a family member or a member of the individual’s household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;

A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility and is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work;

The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;

The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;

The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;

The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;

The individual has to quit his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19;

The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency; or

The individual is self-employed (including an independent contractor or gig worker) and experienced a significant reduction of services because of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

To combat the effects of COVID-19, DOL will be strictly implementing a new application submission schedule from Feb. 16, 2021 to March 15, 2021.

On Monday, the department will only be accepting applications with last names starting from A to C. Tuesdays will be for last names D to H; Wednesdays will be for I to M; Thursdays will be for N to R; and Fridays will be for S to Z.

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.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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