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Increase in fraudulent PUA weekly claim certifications

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(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor has received hundreds of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance  applications and weekly claims certifications that do not meet the filing requirements or eligibility for PUA benefits. 

Specifically, CNMI DOL has been investigating a number of fraudulent filings and activities where:

(1)  The claimant’s employment was not affected as a direct result of Covid-19;

(2)  The claimant is not “able and available” to work;

(3)  The claimant is not a U.S. citizen, non-national citizen, or qualified alien;

(4)  The claimant quit his/her job or refused suitable work in order to continue to claim PUA benefits; and

(5)  The claimant has returned to the workforce and earning “pre-pandemic” or customary wages — yet continues to file weekly certifications or under report income.

CNMI DOL reminds all claimants that their filings are submitted under penalty of perjury. Individuals who willfully conceal material facts or knowingly make false statement(s) to obtain PUA to which they are not entitled will be required to repay all benefits fraudulently collected and may be subject to federal prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 1001.

Additionally, claimants will be held responsible for submitting uninformed, inaccurate, and incomplete information.  Claimants are responsible for reading the PUA & FPUC Benefits Rights Information Handbook in its entirety. The document can be found at www.marianaslabor.net under “Forms & Publications” or retrieved at the Department of Labor, PUA HQ building #1334 on Capital Hill.

CNMI DOL plays a fundamental role in ensuring the integrity of the PUA/FPUC programs in the Marianas. Fraud and overpayment issues jeopardize the integrity of the program and availability of benefits for eligible or qualified individuals. Individuals are encouraged to contact CNMI DOL to report any perceived instance of wrongdoing or fraud pertaining at the following contacts:

Fraud Tip Line: 989-9095

Benefit Payment Control Unit Office Numbers:322-9943/9944

Benefit Payment Control Unit Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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