Senate Ways and Means & Financial Matters committee says it agrees with United States Department of Labor’s assessment that WIOA should not have deducted tax and Social Security contributions from the benefits paid to people under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment (PUA) program and should refund the money to those people whose benefits were deducted.
Last week, Minister of Finance Kaleb Udui Jr. reported that the national government will be reimbursing the income tax that was deducted from the PUA benefits and remitted to the national government. That amount was said to be about $1.2 million dollars. He said that the source of payment will come from the money earlier budgeted for CROSS Act.
Meanwhile, Palau Social Security Administration had requested WIOA to seek a waiver from DOL for reimbursement of the deductions made to Social Security and National Health Insurance. SS Administrator Ulai Teltull had said that the “The contributions to Palau Social Security and the Palau Healthcare Fund were made on behalf of 495 recipients for their continued benefits under the national health insurance (NHI), individual medical savings account (MSA), and for their future earning quarters for retirement (SS Retirement).”
SSA in previous communication to WIOA said that most of the recipients have benefited from their NHI coverage and some have used their benefits under NHI and MSA making it challenging to recall or refund the money that has been paid and used by the beneficiary.
Senate WMFM Committee Chairwoman Senator Rukebai Inabo, in the letter to WIOA Chairman Matthew Rudimch said that SSA should provide a “legal justification” for its continued efforts to pursue the contributions and delaying the returning of the deductions to the individuals.
“SSA’s delay in returning these deductions also risks exposing the government to potential legal liability for non-compliance with the CARES Act and applicable DOL guidance,” added Chairman Inabo.
The deadline that DOL gave for Palau’s response plan to repay back the deductions has passed but no information yet on SSA’s request for waiver.
Senate WMFM Committee said they will be contacting WIOA and SSA for oversight hearing on the matter. (By: L.N. Reklai)

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  1. First of all we dont have covid19 .so the money should geve to the /example /lets say hotels /geve the money to the employer to pay the employee so they dont loss ther jop/that way we keep the bubble flow for everyone /government n private sectors not pay back .we only infected by the covid19 in economey way …..unemployment should geve n help palau pepole to get a jop /we should be in the program less then 6 months /some of us been in the program more then 1 year n 8 months .

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