Where are unemployment benefits?

May 18, 2020

Seven weeks after Congress passed the CARES Act and five weeks after the Commonwealth and the U.S. Department of Labor signed an implementing agreement, unemployed workers in the Marianas are still not getting help. This week, I wrote Governor Torres asking why and offered my assistance, if the problem is on the federal side. I negotiated hard to make Marianas workers eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation programs in the CARES Act, even though there is no unemployment system to use as a base, as there is in the states and other territories. The combined weekly benefit is $942. Thousands of Marianas workers, who are unemployed, underemployed, or furloughed, need this help now.