Unemployment help available for people who lost work due to the Maui wildfires in August

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Background image: Cammy Clark (8.10.23) Maui Now graphic.

Workers, business owners and self-employed residents of Maui who became unemployed or had reduced work hours due to the August wildfires may be eligible for disaster unemployment benefits.

Those benefits cover Aug. 13 to Feb. 10, 2024 if the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of the disaster.

Regular unemployment insurance and disaster unemployment benefits cannot be paid at the same time. 


The deadline to apply is Monday, Sept. 25. 

To apply go to https://uiclaims.hawaii.gov. Those who are not able to file online can apply toll-free at any of these numbers: 808-762-5752, 833-901-2272; 833-901-2275; or 808-762-5751.


Individuals may be eligible to apply if their unemployment is a direct result of the wildfire disaster. For instance, if:

  • you had physical damage or destruction to your place of employment;
  • you couldn’t get to your place of employment because roads were closed as part of the response to the disaster.

Also, eligible individuals may be those who: 

  • are prevented from reaching their job or self-employment location because of the disaster;
  • cannot perform services in employment or self-employment due to an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.
  • became the major household support because of the death of the head of household due to the disaster; 
  • were scheduled to start or resume employment or self-employment but were prevented by the disaster. For example, those in the agricultural and fishing industries.

Work Search and Work Registration for Maui County Residents

For Maui County Residents affected by the fires, you are not required to register or search for work.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to workers, business owners, and self-employed individuals who were working or living in Maui County at the time of the fires and became unemployed or had their work hours reduced or interrupted because of the disaster and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance.


To apply for DUA benefits, you will submit an application through the regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits system. Go to “Claimant Services” and log in to your UI account. If you have not previously filed for UI benefits, you will need to create an account first. Once logged in, select “File an Initial Claim” and follow the prompts to submit an application.

DUA applications must be submitted no later than September 25, 2023. Applications submitted after this deadline will be considered untimely and DUA benefits may be denied unless there is good cause for the late filing.

Please be advised that your eligibility for UI benefits will be determined first. If you worked for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, or similar Web Platforms, Hawaii UI considers you to be an employee of these companies and you may qualify for regular UI benefits. Additionally, officers/owners of a corporation or Limited Liability Company taxed as a corporation and received payment or are entitled to receive payments are also considered to be employees and may be eligible for regular UI benefits.

If you have questions or require assistance, call 833-901-2272 or 808-762-5751.


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