Pandemic Unemployment Assistance now available for NMI workers, self-employed individuals

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(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor officially announces that it will be accepting applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA workers in the CNMI starting June 17, 2020 through December 26, 2020.

PUA  provides temporary benefits to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of Covid-19.  Direct result means loss of employment or self-employment because of a reason directly related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The PUA program, in general, provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits.  The U.S. Department of Labor oversees the PUA program and reimburses CNMI DOL for the program administration and benefit payment costs.

Individuals who receive at least one dollar of PUA benefits for a week, will also receive an additional $600 supplemental payment under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation or FPUC program.

However, the time period that a claimant can receive the FPUC supplemental payment is more limited than the duration of the PUA payments. For the CNMI, FPUC is payable only for weeks of unemployment beginning on or after March 29, 2020.  FPUC is not payable to any individual for any week of unemployment occurring after July 31, 2020.

Who can apply for PUA/FPUC?

PUA and FPUC are available to citizens of the United States, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the CNMI, Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, American Samoa, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and qualified aliens who reside and work in the CNMI who became unemployed, unable to work, or not available to work as a direct result of the Covid-19 public health emergency.  Individuals who are self-employed, those seeking part-time employment, or individuals who were about to start a job but could not begin work because of Covid-19 are also eligible for PUA and FPUC.

Individuals who wish to receive PUA benefits must provide proof of identity and demonstrate their status as U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or qualified aliens.  This is irrespective of territory law eligibility criteria for regular unemployment benefits. 

Qualified aliens include:

  • Legal permanent resident (“green card” holder)
  • An asylee, refugee, or an alien whose deportation is being withheld
  • Alien paroled into the U.S. for at least one year
  • Alien granted conditional entry (per law in effect prior to April 1, 1980)
  • Cuban/Haitian entrant
  • Aliens in the U.S. who have been abused, subject to battery or extreme cruelty by a spouse or other family/household member, or have been a victim of a severe form of human trafficking
  • Aliens whose children have been abused and alien children whose parent has been abused who fit certain criteria

Application filing dates

Individuals may apply for PUA if they have had a week(s) of unemployment on or after February 2, 2020 through Dec. 26, 2020 as a result of Covid-19. PUA is available for individuals who have lost their jobs, had their regular work hours reduced, or were self-employed individuals but are no longer able to work as a direct result of Covid-19. Individuals may file applications for PUA from June 17, 2020, through December 26, 2020.

How and where to apply

Claimants may apply for PUA either online or in-person.

To submit a PUA application online, visit

For more information, call any of the following numbers between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday:

Rota - 989-9001

Tinian - 989-9000

Saipan -  989-9089, 989-9090, 989-9080, 989-9081, 989-9083 or 989-9084

Virtual conference

CNMI DOL will host a virtual conference from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. via Zoom on Monday, June 15, to provide an update on the status of the PUA and FPUC programs.

For businesses planning to join the Zoom meeting, pre-registration for this meeting is required. Pre-register at

Because the Zoom meeting has a limit of 100 participants, the CNMI DOL will be streaming this virtual conference live on Facebook through the CNMI Office of the Governor Facebook page.

CNMI DOL encourages both employers and employees to watch via Facebook at

CNMI DOL has also upgraded its portal, a Virtual One-Stop System used by the department’s Workforce Investment Agency to register, track, and manage its clients, and to incorporate the modules needed for PUA/FPUC functions. The system is used both regionally and nationally and has advanced security measures with a strong focus on data Confidentiality, Availability, and Integrity.

In the event that you may need alternative means of assistance, are not able to access or need more information, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call one of the PUA/FPUC hotline numbers:












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