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Puerto Rico opts-in to Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi and Labor Secretary Carlos Rivera-Santiago announced the Puerto Rico is opting-in to the new Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program that will represent an economic impact of some $65 million to the island and could benefit some 60,000 individuals.

Th requirements and instructions on how to participate in the program — which is the result of an agreement between the local Labor Department and its US counterpart — will be published in the coming weeks, local agency officials said.

The MEUC will provide an additional $100 a week to island residents who are receiving unemployment benefits, but who also generated at least $5,000 in self-employment during tax year 2019. Those individuals are those who do not qualify to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance because they qualify for regular unemployment.

The program ends Mar. 13, 2021.

“I reiterate that my administration will take advantage of all the available and necessary resources so that Puerto Rican families have economic relief from the loss of income caused by the effects of COVID-19,” Pierluisi said.

“Part of our agenda is to identify and implement all those aids that improve the financial circumstances of our families and, in turn, stimulate the island’s economy,” he said.

This program is aimed mainly at those people who have a job with a company in which the employer pays unemployment insurance, and a self-generated source of income, Rivera-Santiago said.

“We’ve identified that some 60,000 people could meet the requirements, which would represent an economic impact of some $65 million,” he said

A number of states, including Vermont and Florida, have already opted into the program, and are waiting for the US Department of Labor to release guidelines. The MEUC benefit is included in the COVID-19 relief bill approved Dec. 27, 2020.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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