State Pays Out $68,097,470 In Unemployment Insurance Benefits

April 25, 2020, 5:25 AM HST · Updated April 25, 5:25 AM
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The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced that between April 17 to April 23 it distributed $68,097,470 in unemployment insurance benefits.

$44,848,600 of that total represents the $600 plus up made available by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law on March 27, 2020.

“The department was able to deliver a record level of benefits in a week and for that I am tremendously grateful for our workers,” said Scott T. Murakami, DLIR Director. “We know that there are still many in our community who are suffering and with the help of our sister departments, the Legislature, private sector partners and non-profits, we are resolute in providing a greater level of relief as soon as possible.”

An estimated 35,000 File for Unemployment in Maui County

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County Managing Director Sandy Baz said the County of Maui is doing what it can to support the state with their issues regarding unemployment.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said unemployment claims are being processed faster, thanks to more than 300 people that have been brought on to work on the backlog.

A step by step process detailing how to file a claim is available here.

The public can check the status of their claims by visiting huiclaims2020.hawaii.gov/status.  Applicants are encouraged to make sure their applications are complete and accurate before submitting because if affects how quickly they receive payment.

“Even though it’s a state function, the county also has a website to assist residents with unemployment and find employment at the MauiAmericanJobCenter.com.

“We have heard that there are over 35,000 applications for unemployment and so cumulative over the period it’s a large number of our population.  I don’t have specifics as to how many are actually. receiving checks as of yet, but we are definitely working to support the state of Hawaiʻi,” said Baz.

The County’s Hawaiʻi Emergency Laulima Partnership or HELP program continues to provide assistance in partnership with Maui Economic Opportunity. Those seeking help can do so through an application on the MEO website. Those without access to internet, can call 249-2990 or 249-2980 and an application can sent via mail.

To qualify, individuals must show:

  • 25 percent or more reduction in income after March 4, 2020,
  • Have less than $5,000 in liquid assets.

The HELP program provides funding for basic needs such as housing, utilities, food, car, and anything needed to sustain activities and prevent homelessness.

Baz said that so far, the program has received applications for about three-quarters of its funding, and the county will be looking at additional funding as needed.

 

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