State Launches Virtual Call Center for Unemployment Insurance Claims
The state of Hawaiʻi today launched a virtual call center to help claimants obtain information relating to their unemployment insurance claim, Gov. David Ige announced in a news release.
The virtual call center will operate Monday through Friday, from 7:45 am to 4:30 pm . All phone lines in use by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations will be routed to the new center.
“We are excited to be able to provide this much-needed resource in support of the State’s [unemployment insurance] program,” Gov. Ige said. “While 96% of initial claims have been successfully filed online, our State is working overtime and leveraging every resource possible to help those filers who must utilize a phone to file or resolve an issue with their claim. I am optimistic that this new call center will further expedite much-needed relief to our residents who have struggled to connect via phone.”
The current numbers used by the local unemployment insurance offices and existing toll-free numbers will route to the new virtual call center with 200 trained operators available to answer all types of claimant inquiries, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for people who are self-employed, business owners and contract workers.
The toll-free numbers are (833)-901-2272 and (833)-901-2275 and respectively correspond to the local numbers (808)-762-5751 and (808)-762-5752.
“While there are tools online to assist with navigating the unemployment insurance process, we absolutely understand the need to connect with a human voice to get questions answered,” said Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Anne Eustaquio. “Our goal with the new call center is to alleviate the enormous call volume flooding our offices.”
The virtual call center is operated by Maximus Inc., an American outsourcing company that provides business process services to government health and human service agencies in the United States, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.
The department is working with the vendor to hire 100 adjudicators to reduce the backlog of claims requiring adjudication that involve a higher level of expertise and knowledge to process.
For more information about unemployment insurance and other labor issues please visit the recently revised FAQs at https://labor.hawaii.gov/covid-19-labor-faqs/.