CNMI DOL receives clarification on PSS staff eligibility for PUA

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(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor received clarification from the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration on Thursday regarding the eligibility CNMI Public School System staff for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.

Certain school employees fall under PUA/FPUC applicant categories that require special considerations. In a telephone conference today, USDOL-ETA validated that some PSS staff who were furloughed as a result of Covid-19 could potentially qualify for full PUA/FPUC benefits starting April 15, 2020.

Additionally, USDOL-ETA validated that PSS employees who signed certified 190-day employment contracts and were furloughed as a result of Covid-19 could potentially qualify for full benefits from April 15, 2020 through June 15, 2020 and partial benefits from June 16, 2020 through August 26, 2020 contingent on an earnings review conducted by CNMI DOL.

“Governor Torres, Lt. Governor Palacios, and I have believed from the start that PSS teachers and staff who have been affected by Covid-19 should receive assistance through PUA and FPUC, and we thank USDOL for providing this clarification so that we can meet our goal in helping our educators,” Secretary of Labor Vicky Benavente said. “We will continue to work with PSS leadership with their employee claims. Additionally, Governor Torres, Lt. Governor Palacios, and I will also continue our work in processing our furloughed government employees to ensure they get their assistance as well,” she added.

Important note:

All PUA/FPUC claims are processed on an individual case-by-case basis. The information contained in this press release only concerns certain PSS employees and may be subject to change upon guidance from USDOL-ETA.

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