Federal unemployment benefits are ending on Saturday, and the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Tuesday it wants to ensure that unemployed individuals who are losing the extra aid are aware of the upcoming changes and potential next steps.
Saturday’s benefits expiration date affects individuals receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).
Once these programs end, only the regular unemployment insurance program will be available.
“We have been fielding a lot of questions from claimants asking whether they will qualify for a new unemployment insurance claim,” DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio said in a statement. “In short, new unemployment insurance claims will be reinstated for all individuals who established a new initial claim but chose to remain on the PEUC program under the PEUC $25 option.
“All other individuals will need to qualify for a new initial claim after Sept. 4 based on existing criteria. That said, anyone waiting on claims filed through Sept. 4 will be made whole and receive those benefits as long as they are otherwise qualified.”
The DLIR recently sent an email to approximately 6,500 claimants who qualified for the PEUC $25 Option program, advising them to file their claim certification for the week ending Saturday between Sept. 5 and Sept. 11, regardless of claim filing status, weekly or biweekly.
To ensure a seamless transition from the PEUC program to a new regular unemployment insurance claim, individuals should file their claim certifications as early as possible, because failure to submit a PEUC claim by the requested date may result in a delay of benefits.
Eligibility criteria for new, regular claims is posted at https://www.hawaiiunemploymentinfo.com/end-of-the-federal-programs-2/. Individuals filing claim certifications under a regular claim starting Sept. 11 will be subject to a one-week waiting period and be required to register for work with HireNet Hawaii. Claimants may file a claim certification for the first payable week of their claim, but will not be paid benefits for that first week.
Individuals who neither qualified for the PEUC $25 Option nor meet the criteria for a new initial claim after Saturday should not file a new initial claim and instead seek assistance at their county’s American Job Center. The AJC Hawaii is a free, one-stop center that provides career counseling, HireNet Hawaii support, skills training, job search assistance, and a resource training center. Individuals can contact their local AJC office to schedule an appointment. For more information visit: https://www.hawaiiunemploymentinfo.com/resources/.
Resources are also available with the State Department of Human Services at https://humanservices.hawaii.gov/.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald