The Virgin Islands Department of Labor (DOL) has launched the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. This will provide an additional $600 per week in benefits to those who are eligible.
“We are happy to announce with the implementation of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program under the CARES Act, today DOL has issued over $8.5 million in payments to Virgin Islands residents. This represents over 3,000 checks for the largest one-day check run within the Virgin Islands Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance program. This will assist in the re-stabilization of the Virgin Islands economy,” said Labor Commissioner Gary Molloy.
These payments are the start of the FPUC program in the Virgin Islands. The program period runs from April 4 to July 31.
This marks the second program that DOL has administered under the CARES Act. FPUC will continue to bring relief to residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a reminder, the first program implemented was the waiver of the waiting week.
The next program to be launched is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which includes the self-employed, independent contractors, taxi drivers, gig workers and other individuals who would not normally qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits. PUA will assist those who are directly impacted by the coronavirus in at least one of the 10 COVID-19 related areas.
At this point, DOL has received over 8,000 applications. It is diligently processing the applications and converting them into claims, processing continued weekly claims and issuing checks daily. In addition, DOL acknowledges that many individuals have not received assistance to date. The department is working feverishly to ensure that only those who are eligible to receive benefits do so but in a timelier fashion.
The public is invited to contact the call center, which can be accessed 24/7 at 1-877-374-0356, for assistance with filling out the online application.
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding expanded benefits, look on Labor’s website at www.vidol.gov and/or its Facebook page @USVIDOL.