HONOLULU — The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has paid $700 million to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for advances it has received to pay regular unemployment insurance benefits, the department announced recently.
Due to the unprecedented volume of unemployment-insurance claims resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the department began drawing what are called Title XII advances in July 2020 to pay unemployment-insurance benefits.
“The DLIR has paid out nearly $6.4 billion in unemployment-insurance benefits and assistance as a critical part of the safety net during the COVID-19 pandemic,” DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio said.
“With the assistance of Gov. Ige and the Legislature we have minimized significant impacts to our business community due to the Title XII advances in light of our ongoing battle with COVID-19 and our state’s economic recovery,” she said.
The department previously used $39 million in state appropriations from coronavirus relief funds to pay down the federal advances in December 2020.
The 2021 Legislature appropriated the $700 million payment in American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and subsequent extensions (the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and the Continued Assistance Act) provided full, federal funding for a number of temporary unemployment-insurance and assistance programs as well as temporary waivers of Title XII interest payment due and interest accrual. The latest extension of ARPA expires today.
Source: The Garden Island