State Has Issued $3.2 Billion in Unemployment Insurance Benefits Since March 1

September 18, 2020, 10:41 AM HST · Updated September 18, 10:41 AM
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State seal. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has updated its unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $3,186,067,022 and 3,307,331 weeks claimed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 1, 2020.

“Ninety-five percent of the valid unemployment insurance claims that have come in since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic have been processed and paid out by the DLIR,” said Deputy Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio. “Although we have processed about 135,000 self-certifications for the $300 plus-up, tens of thousands of more claimants are eligible and should login to the portal and indicate that their unemployment was due to disruptions caused by COVID-19 to receive the additional benefit.”

  • No. of claims filed statewide: 287,361
  • No. of invalid claims filed statewide: -100,701
  • No. of valid claims awaiting claimant to verify: -9,597
  • No. of valid claims requiring DLIR action: 186,660
  • No. of claims paid: 176,750
  • No. of claims requiring DLIR action 9/16/20: 9,910

Claimants are required to sign into their accounts on the unemployment insurance portal and answer a pop-up page that allows them to self-certify that they were partially or wholly unemployed due to COVID-19. A graphic demonstrating the process is available here. The DLIR will start processing payments in October and the payments will be staggered for each week you are eligible. Payments will be retroactive for all the weeks for which you are eligible.

With the assistance of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, the DLIR has received approval to pay six weeks of benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The program will pay $300 a week to all eligible claimants that have a minimum weekly benefit amount of $100 or more in unemployment insurance benefits. The program excludes those with a weekly benefit amount of less than $100 in weekly unemployment insurance benefits. Payments will be retroactive for the weeks ending: Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; and Sept. 5, 2020.

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Individuals with pending issues preventing payment will not receive the additional $300 per week if they are allowed benefits after the program has ended. Unlike the FPUC program ($600 plus-up) that ended in July, LWA is a grant with a finite amount of funding. When FEMA exhausts its grant funding, it will no longer have the resources to provide LWA payments and the program will end.

The State of Hawaiʻi is not allowed to use CARES Act or any local funds to supplement those individuals with a weekly benefit amount of less than $100 to make them eligible for the program pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum.

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