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NMI to receive $50M more in PUA, FPUC funds

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CNMI Department of Labor Secretary Vicky Benavente said the U.S. Department of Labor has drawn down an additional $50 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance/Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation  funding for the Commonwealth.

She also announced that the Commonwealth will be participating in the new additional lost wages assistance program created by the Trump administration.

“We are going to apply for about $29-30 million…. It’s going to be short-term, similar to the FPUC program,” she said.

To avail itself of this program, the Commonwealth must first place an official request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has been designated by President Donald Trump to manage this particular program.

“The CNMI is going to apply for that program because it will help more people with unemployment assistance if they qualify, because we know that PUA will end in December, and FPUC ended [on] July 31,” Benavente said.

She added that there may be some assistance provided to other PUA applicants who are deemed ineligible for PUA benefits.

“We’re looking at another program. We’re requesting from our federal partners to assist non-U.S. citizens who are unemployed in the CNMI, so I’m hoping to get official word from our federal partners within the next couple of weeks,” Benavente said.

She said the deadline for the FEMA assistance program is September 3, with a turnaround time of approximately 10 days.

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