Unemployment funding secured for returning Guardsmen - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Unemployment funding secured for returning Guardsmen

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - With Guam's returning soldiers becoming eligible for unemployment assistance, KUAM News takes a closer look at how the funding will be dispersed.

Now that funding has been secured for unemployed soldiers returning from deployment in Afghanistan the Guam Department of Labor, the Agency for Human Resources Development and the Guam National Guard met this afternoon to develop a plan of action. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Crisostomo said, "In a couple of days 600 soldiers will be returning to the United States from Afghanistan, 200 of them in the Guam National Guard are not employed. These 200 soldiers will now be able to apply for unemployment insurance in the state of Mississippi."

Under the Unemployed Compensation for Ex-Service Members Program, Crisostomo says monetary assistance will be provided to soldiers who file their unemployment claims while at Camp Shelby. Department of Labor director Manny Cruz said, "We are going to allow them to file their claim in Mississippi when they get disembarked from deployment and then they could go home to Guam and then they could get their claims honored here."

According to Duenas Guam's soldiers will have eleven days in Mississippi to file their paperwork and can do so online, from their Guam DOL will validate their claims. Once qualified the program will provide soldiers unemployment assistance for a period of 26 weeks at about $235 per week. "It's an entitlement if they are unemployed the unemployment insurance is available to them," the officer explained. "At the end state is to get them into a sustainable skill into the employment market and eventually join the employment market here on Guam."

Governor Eddie Calvo applauds the efforts of DOL and his support of the keep your guard up campaign, saying, "In putting out a program that never was available and was just putting heads together and coming up with this program again with this moving forward now we are going to be able to get unemployment compensation to 200-plus of our Guardsmen."

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