Puerto Rico Labor Dept. awaiting instructions for 2nd round of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Agency head says word from federal officials regarding guidelines has yet to arrive
SAN JUAN—The head of Puerto Rico’s Department of Labor and Human Resources, Carlos Rivera Santiago, said the agency is waiting for an authorization from the U.S. Department of Labor to go ahead with payments under the next round of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
“We are waiting on an official statement from the U.S. Department of Labor to determine which are the exact guidelines, and how [the second assistance package] would be implemented. There’s even been talk about additional restrictions, due to instances of fraud that have occurred in other states,” CyberNews quoted Rivera Santiago as saying Thursday in a Radio Isla 1320 AM.
On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order seeking to give up to $400 a week in unemployment assistance, out of which the federal government would provide $300 and state governments the remaining $100.
This is down from the $600 a week that the federal government provided until the end of July, when negotiations stalled between White House officials and lawmakers regarding an extension of the PUA program. Trump’s move to circumvent Congressional approval has been met with criticism and will likely be challenged in court.