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Labor: Health insurance benefits have no bearing on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation programs

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(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor was notified that some employers are cancelling health insurance benefits to ensure employees with partial earnings qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation programs.

These actions were not recommended or approved by CNMI DOL.

Generally, to be eligible for PUA and FPUC, an individual’s employment must be affected as a direct result of Covid-19. Any partial earnings must be reported and deducted from the eligible individual’s benefit amount. Pursuant to applicable law and Executive Order No. 2020-09, CNMI DOL will apply Hawaii Employment Security law to assess partial earnings.

Health insurance is considered a “benefit” or “perk” of employment. Health insurance does not count towards income or wages and has no bearing on eligibility under the PUA and FPUC programs. The department cautions employers against breaching employment contracts, violating employer responsibilities for  workers on CW-1 permits, and taking any action that may be investigated as fraud for unemployment benefits.

If you have general questions regarding the PUA and FPUC programs, you may call any of the phone numbers listed below between the hours of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Due to the high volume of calls, your call may not get connected. If you cannot get through the line, please try again or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please do not send personal or sensitive information via email as it is not secure.

CNMI DOL Phone Numbers for PUA / FPUC Questions:

989-9090

989-9084

989-9081

989-9089

989-9083

989-9080

Please note that these numbers are subject to change and may be reassigned to certain PUA/FPUC functions after implementation, such as processing appeals or reporting fraud. For the latest contact information and guidance, please visit the website at www.marianaslabor.net

 

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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