By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Freely associated states migrants living on Guam are not eligible to receive Disaster Unemployment Assistance or DUA benefits unless they meet specific criteria as a "qualified alien," according to the Guam Department of Labor, citing a notice from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Labor officials said regulations for DUA do not cover citizens from Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, unlike the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program which was established by Congress through the CARES Act.
Non-U.S. citizens who were unemployed as a direct result of Typhoon Mawar and plan to apply for DUA will need to submit documentation of their citizenship status to qualify for DUA.
According to federal policies, those eligible for this program are U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or qualified aliens, meaning legal permanent residents or “green card” holders, refugee or asylum status, withholding of deportation, conditional entry, parole into the U.S. for at least one year for humanitarian purposes, Cuban-Haitian Entrant, or has a pending or approved petition for relief based on battery or extreme cruelty by a family member) may qualify for DUA benefits.
Officials advised individuals who intend to file for DUA claims to complete all the required papers before submitting their applications.
When the DUA program is officially announced and launched and applications are ready to be accepted online through hireguam.com, documents to prove your identity and employment or self-employment can be uploaded at the end of the application process. Submitting all documents at the time of your initial claim filing may help prevent delays in the processing of your claim.
If all documentation cannot be provided at the time the initial claim is filed, individuals will have 21 calendar days from that time to meet this requirement or they may be denied DUA benefits.
Once the announcement is made that the application period has begun, applicants are highly encouraged to submit their DUA claims online through hireguam.com as the process may take 45 minutes or more to complete.
Examples of documents individuals may be required to submit include, but are not limited to:
· A valid government-issued picture identification (driver’s license, passport, permanent resident card).
· Social security card or picture identification reflecting Social Security number.
· Proof of citizenship status to qualify for DUA benefits (U.S. Citizens, non-citizen national or “green card” holders, or qualified aliens)
· Proof of employment or earnings, such as: check stubs, income tax return, business license, gross receipts tax, financial statements or bank records, invoices or receipts to customers (for farmers, agricultural workers, or self-employed workers), documentation substantiating loss of business, other proof of earnings
and verification of Unemployment from your employer (a sample form can be obtained at dol.guam.gov/DUA).
More information on DUA eligibility, forms, documentation, requirements, application, where to apply, and other general information, will be issued in the coming weeks as the DUA system is being prepared for launch.
Individuals who are registered on hireguam.com should take steps to ensure their accounts are active. If you are unable to log on or reset your password, email email@example.com for assistance.
If you think you will be applying for DUA benefits as a direct result of Typhoon Mawar and do not have an account, register today at hireguam.com. For more information, contact the Guam Department of Labor at 671-475-7000/1 or visit dol.guam.gov.