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Unemployment Assistance Office now accepting new applications

Application for unemployment benefits

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The American Samoa Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Office, which is under the ASG Human Resources Department has begun accepting new applications for unemployment benefits and assistance, from individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement last week, DHR said that the US Labor Department and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP Act) had announced recently the updates of the further extension for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and the extended benefits for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

The new stimulus bill — the ARP Act — signed by US President Joe Biden extends the PUA term and the FPUC benefit of $300 beginning March 14 through the week ending Sept. 4, 2021.

“The extended unemployment benefits and assistance brings relief to claimants whose employment suffered as a result of COVID-19.

DHR points out that claimant must be eligible for PUA to receive FPUC. And the local PUA Office began accepting new applications and continued weekly benefit requests on Mar. 22nd.

Among the eligibility requirements for the unemployment benefit is that the person, must be a US Citizen, US National or a “green card” holder, living in the US. That disqualified many effective workers in the territory who are legal residents from foreign countries.

American Samoa adopted Hawaii law in order to qualify last year for the two federal programs, in which ASG was awarded $16.2 million last year from the US Labor Department.

The ASG website — — has a link to the PUA program office, which includes detail information on eligibility as well as an application.

For more information on the assistance provisions provided by ARP, please visit PUA office at Pago Plaza or call 633-2206 — which is a new centralized number as of last week.