The Virgin Islands has triggered on to Tier 4 of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for an additional six weeks of benefits to claimants. The Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance will be mailing out Tier 4 EUC forms on Thursday, Nov. 3, to claimants who have exhausted all of their Tier 3 benefits, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the V.I. Department of Labor.
“This is the first time that the Virgin Islands have triggered on to Tier 4 within the past 10 years. The silver lining to the cloud of summer layoffs is that the vast majority of workers employed by Marriot’s Frenchman’s Reef, Triangle and Wyatt have returned to work. The initial layoffs and claims boosted our unemployment rate just enough so that less fortunate job seekers now have the benefit of Tier 4 monies for an additional 6 weeks of job hunting,” Labor Commissioner Albert Bryan Jr. said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the Virgin Islands unemployment rate is currently 9.4 percent. This has triggered the Virgin Islands on to the fourth tier of EUC effective Oct. 23.
As the additional benefits take effect, unemployed residents will continue to receive re-employment and workforce development services to prepare them for returning to work and potentially better job opportunities. Each week, the department will feature 25 “hot jobs” per district on the department’s Web site (www.vidol.gov) and resource rooms.
The Department also highlights the following:
· Individuals who may have been disconnected from the EUC08 program due to the previous exhaustion of their Tier 3 benefits will receive an application in the mail within the next week to determine their continued eligibility.
· Claimants can submit their completed Tier 4 applications via email:
· Individuals who are currently collecting and subsequently exhausted their Tier 3 benefits will be automatically transferred onto their Tier 4 benefits upon further certification of their continued unemployment and other eligibility requirements.
· Individuals who may have gone back to work should disregard the Department’s request for submittal of an application.
· Individuals knowingly misrepresenting their employment status by making false statements in connection with their claim are committing a federal offense, punishable by a fine or imprisonment for no more than five years, or both.
For more information or clarifications, contact DOL offices on St. Croix at 773-1440 or St. Thomas at 776-3700.