State Pays Out $140,300,082 in Unemployment Insurance Benefits Over Past Week

May 8, 2020, 3:28 PM HST · Updated May 8, 3:28 PM
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The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has distributed a total of $140,300,082 in unemployment insurance benefits over the past week.  Of that amount, $83,776,600 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 paid out 139,628 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits during that same week.

Since the start of COVID-19 response in Hawaiʻi, the state has paid out over $320 million in benefits, according to information compiled earlier this week.

“I am tremendously grateful for our workers as well as the volunteers working at the Hawaiʻi State Library and Hawaiʻi Convention Center,” said Scott 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.”

Staffing Capacity: 622 staff and volunteers

  • A total of 76 DLIR staff have been internally reallocated to process claims,
  • A total of 25 volunteers from the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System at the Hawaiʻi State Library,
  • 590 volunteers trained and working at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center processing claims and staffing the phone center.
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The staffing at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center includes two shifts Monday through Saturday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (phone center hours 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Timeline of Technology Upgrades:

  • 3/23 Online web application becomes available 24/7,
  • 4/14 Claims status check available 24/7 went live,
  • 4/30 Replicated database for login module to divert traffic from the mainframe
  • 5/2 Phase One of the claims certification moved on to replicated database to divert from the mainframe,
  • 5/5 Amazon Cloud Front installed to unemployment system program which removes bots and improves the ability to manage front end traffic,
  • 5/5 Amazon Web Application Firewall installed to protect web applications from cyber- attacks to enhance security,
  • 5/8 Installation of an additional 150 phones to process claims and take calls
  • 5/9 Phase II claims certification completely moved to replicated database to divert from the mainframe.

Timeline of Expanded Processing Capacity:

  • 4/6 Entrepreneurs Sandbox equipped with twenty-five phones, closed 4/26
  • 4/20 Hawaiʻi Convention Center equipped with 210 workstations,
  • 4/26 Thirty phones installed in a new phone center in the convention center,
  • 5/1 Thirty additional phones added to convention phone center and 60 workstations equipped with phones,
  • 5/4 Ten additional workstations to handle email processing,
  • 5/8 150 additional phones installed at workstations.

The Hawaiʻi Convention Center is now equipped with 280 workstations of which 270 have phones for calling.

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