Hagåtña, Guam – The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration, through the Guam Department of Labor (GDOL), is preparing to launch Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) in the coming weeks. Pursuant to the provisions of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), Guam has been authorized for an initial obligation of $876,374.00 for administrative costs to implement the unemployment assistance program. With the administrative costs approved by FEMA and the U.S. Department of Labor, GDOL can now provide the final parameters for its software vendor to program the Guam DUA system.

“The GDOL has been actively surveying our business sector to provide the supporting information to secure this funding source. According to the data collected last month, GDOL estimates as much as 14% of the workforce, or 7,000 individuals, will apply for this aid, hundreds of whom are farmers and fishermen,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “Similar to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), we look forward to providing support and much needed relief to our residents who lost wages or their jobs as a result of this disaster.” 

“The funding used to program this DUA system for Guam will benefit Guam for future disasters as having the DUA framework set up would drastically improve implementation time should another disaster need to be declared,” said Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio. “With these lessons learned and systems in place, we continue to build our resiliency as a people and an island.” 

The Weekly Assistance Amount for all workers in Guam is $384 for each week of total unemployment, retroactive back to May 28. The DUA program will be an automated system similar to PUA, so filing online will be required.  While the DUA program has not yet officially launched,  affected persons with a HireGuam.com account should log on to their accounts now to ensure they are ready once the program starts. All affected workers are strongly encouraged to start preparing their documents now.  Failure to provide required documentation within 21 days of filing an initial claim will result in a denied claim. Claims must be filed within 30 days from the date the system goes live. If, for whatever reason, a claim is filed after the 30-day window elapses, it will be denied under federal DUA regulations.   

DUA is a FEMA-funded disaster program with strict federal guidelines. Employees had to have been employed on the date of the storm. Documented proof of employment, a Government issued picture ID, and a statement from the employer that the worker’s unemployment is directly due to damages caused by the storm is required.  Self-employed individuals will need to prove that their self-employment is their primary income source and that they cannot engage in self-employment activities directly due to the storm.  These individuals will need to provide proof that their business is legitimate.  Examples of such proof would be a copy of the individual’s business license, Gross Receipt Tax (GRT) filings, and business records.

Although GDOL applied on June 9 for $26 million, FEMA requested an initial administrative funding request under $1 million and then the balance of $25 million afterward because the benefits require congressional notice.

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 webadmin@dol.guam.gov 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 GDOL at 671-475-7000/1 or visit dol.guam.gov.


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