Panuelo tells citizens: 'Don't be shy, seek relief aid'

Palikir, Pohnpei — Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo urged citizens who lost their jobs or had their work hours cut as a result of Covid-19 to avail of relief aid through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

"There is no need to be shy; these are unprecedented and challenging times, and we have every intention of making sure that every eligible recipient receives assistance," Panuelo said. "Please call or visit your local Office of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance soonest so that we can help you with your application.”

On June 17, the FSM government opened offices in each of the nation’s states to assist citizens who have lost their job, or suffered from reduced income due to Covid-19, to apply for financial support under the PUA program.

PUA and the related Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program are components of of the U.S. government's Coronavirus Aid Relief and Security Act.

Both programs, though operated by the FSM, are funded through the United States and, as a result, the nation is following both U.S. Ffederal law, as well as the laws of Hawaii to implement these programs.

The PUA program provides temporary benefits to individuals whose employment or self- employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of Covid19.

Examples of individuals who may qualify for assistance are: those who are unable to reach their place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic; those who are scheduled to commence employment but do not have a job or are unable to reach their job due as a direct result of the Covid-19 Pandemic; and those whose places of employment have closed due the Covid-19 Pandemic.