$200 million in unemployment benefits disbursed in the CNMI

Saipan-- The CNMI Department of Labor has distributed more that $200 million in Pandeminc Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefits to eligible applicants.

Labor officials estimate that by the end of the program, approximately $350 million in benefits will be disbursed.

Since June 16, 2020, the Department has received a total of 39,002 claims for the PUA and FPUC programs. Of the total amount received, 21,000 claims fall under the jurisdiction of the CNMI. After a thorough examination of its total claims population, the Department identified the remaining 18,002 as belonging to other States/Territories.

According to program reports, an estimated 10,252 claims were approved for payouts and 26,241 claims (including non-jurisdiction claims) were denied, leaving roughly 2,509 claims pending adjudication.

All PUA claims received during the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) pandemic assistance period-- from Feb. 2, 2020 to Dec. 27, 2020) have been adjudicated and paid out with the exception of claims that are in the reconsideration or appeals process.

According to the department, 8,226 claims (2,047 of which were brand new claims and 5,603 of whi