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More unemployment assistance coming

HONOLULU — The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations recently announced the staggered distribution of funds to claimants of current unemployment-insurance programs including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

With the assistance of the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, the DLIR received approval to pay six weeks of benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Providing extra relief to those still unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic supports those individuals and their families as well as local businesses as claimants spend the benefits,” said Gov. David Ige.

“This maximizes all available federal funds to help people in Hawai‘i who are unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

The program will pay $300 a week to all eligible claimants who have a weekly benefit amount of $100 or more in UI benefits. The program excludes those with a weekly benefit amount of less than $100. Unlike the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (also known as the $600 plus-up program) that ended in July, Lost Wage Assistance is a grant program with a finite amount of funding that only includes benefits for six weeks beginning the weeks ending Aug. 1 to Sept. 5, 2020.

Benefits generally take three business days to be deposited after issuance by the DLIR. Starting this week, a week’s worth of benefits will go out every week and for the next five weeks as follows:

• Sept. 23, 24 and 25, payments for the week ending Saturday, Aug. 1;

• Sept 29, and Oct. 1 and 2, payments for week ending Saturday, Aug. 8;

• Oct. 6, 7 and 8, payments for week ending Saturday, Aug. 15;

• Oct. 13, 14 and 15, payments for week ending Saturday, Aug. 22;

• Oct. 20, 21 and 22, payments for week ending Saturday, Aug. 29;

• Oct. 27, 28 and 29, payments for week ending Saturday, Sept. 5.

Individuals with pending issues preventing payment will not receive the additional $300 per week if they are allowed benefits after the program has ended.

Frequently-asked questions and answers about LWA can be found at labor.hawaii.gov/ui/main/faq-lost-wages-assistance-lwa/.
Source: The Garden Island

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