Over 15 million dollars has been paid to claimants that applied for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance under the US CARES Act but were told they were no longer eligible after receiving the first PUA benefit payment.

The $15 million comes from the $18 million awarded to Palau to pay claimants whose claims were rejected but were not given the opportunity to contest the rejection.  Disbursement of this fund started on April 26, 2022, after the regular PUA/FPUC benefits payments have closed.

740 claimants of US PUA/FPUC benefits were told after they received the first benefit payments that they were no longer eligible due to various reasons.  The claimants were not given, as required, the “Notice of Determination” letter.  Such a letter gives the rejected applicant the opportunity to contest the decision.

US Department of Labor gave Palau claimants the opportunity to have their claims reassessed for eligibility.

740 were “redetermined” for eligibility for CARES Act PUA and FPUC programs.  666 of them were determined eligible for retroactive payment.  Of the 666, 35 were determined to be eligible for the FPUC.

Based on the eligibility and income earned, some claimants received as high as $25,092 retroactive payment and others less than that.

74 out of the 740 were determined “ineligible” and have been given a “Notice of Determination” and now have an opportunity to contest or have that determination re-assessed.

Over $3.8 million is left from the $18 million awarded.  According to WIOA Office, the US Department of Labor states that “Whatever remaining balance MUST be returned to US Department of Labor.  Palau WIOA Office or any other agency does not have the authority to hold this amount or request to use it to re-open applications.”

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