Furloughed Workers Encouraged to File for Benefits Online

October 5, 2013, 9:59 AM HST · Updated October 5, 11:01 AM
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By Maui Now Staff

The state is urging federal employees who are unemployed as a result of the government shutdown to apply for insurance benefits online.

“We empathize with federal workers who are unable to work at this time through no fault of their own, especially given the uncertainty of the duration of the shutdown,” said Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Dwight Takamine in a state issued press release.

“All federal workers eligible for benefits need to consider their own circumstances carefully in deciding whether to apply for benefits. If individuals do apply for benefits, we highly recommend they file online to avoid long wait times on the telephone or at local offices,” said Takamine.

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State officials say that if Congress ultimately acts to retroactively pay federal employees that were furloughed, then those employees who received benefits will likely be required to reimburse the state.

There are an estimated 9,000 non-defense, federal employees in Hawaiʻi, although it is unknown how many of those are considered essential by their agency and still working, according tot the DLIR’s Research and Statistics Office.

Individuals can apply for benefits online by visiting: uiclaims.hawaii.gov from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Claims can also be filed by calling Hawaiʻi Teleclaims at 643-5555 from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has created a page on its website where furloughed workers can go for more information.

To apply for benefits, furloughed federal workers will need to provide the following:

  • Personal information such as social security number, address, and date of birth.
  • Employment information such as employer’s name, location, and the address of your payroll office.
  • Proof of employment and wages to establish monetary entitlement. Make copies of SF8 and SF50 (if available), earnings and leave statement for the one-year period prior to Oct. 1, 2013, W-2 for 2012, and furlough notice to give to the UI office for their records. These documents can be delivered mailed, faxed or emailed to the local claims office.

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