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DLIR delays reopening offices due to COVID

HONOLULU — The state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced it will not open statewide offices as planned on Sept. 7 due to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases.

In an effort to better serve the public during this time, the DLIR will expand telephone appointments for claimants with general inquiries and launch telephone appointments for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims and for employer services. The DLIR will also continue to operate its call center.

“The high level of community transmission of COVID-19 makes it extremely difficult to ensure the safety of our customers as well as staff,” said DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio.

“However, we recognize how equally important it is that we continue to serve the public as best as we can, and we are rolling out several new initiatives to enhance our services to the community,” she said. “We will continue to assess the situation and hope to again offer in-person service as soon as the situation allows.”

Starting on Sept. 7, the following services will be offered, with appointment schedules opening Aug. 24. Nearly 1,700 weekly appointments are available as follows:

• Adjudication telephone appointments — 30-minute appointments will be offered Monday through Wednesday. The first appointment will be Aug. 23;

• General Unemployment Insurance claims telephone appointments — 20-minute appointments will be offered Monday through Friday, the first on Sept. 7;

• Employer services telephone appointments — 30-minute appointments will be offered Monday through Friday, the first on Sept. 7;

• PUA telephone appointments — 30-minute appointments will be offered Monday through Wednesday, the first on Sept. 7.

Access to all appointments is available via the web labor.hawaii.gov/ui/appointments/.

“The 1,692 appointments available weekly will facilitate resolution of all types of unemployment insurance and assistance issues while helping ensure the safety of our customers and staff during this current delta-driven COVID-19 outbreak,” Perreira-Eustaquio said. “The efficiencies of this new appointment system will allow us to provide higher service levels than an in-person approach.”

Appointments are now open for adjudication. All other telephone appointments will open up on Aug. 24. All appointments can be scheduled via the web labor.hawaii.gov/ui/appointments/.

Appointments must be scheduled with the appropriate section that can service the individual’s claims. General Unemployment Insurance appointments must also be scheduled with the appropriate island office specific to where the individual lives.

Language-interpretation services can be requested through the appointment system. Appointments are restricted to the registered person on the appointment schedule.
Source: The Garden Island

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