HONOLULU — With federal unemployment benefits ending on Sept. 4, the state Department of Labor &Industrial Relations is working to ensure that unemployed individuals who will be losing the extra aid are aware of the upcoming changes and potential next steps.
This 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 release.
“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 September 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,” she said.
The DLIR recently sent emails to approximately 6,500 claimants who qualified for the PEUC $25 Option program, advising them to file their claim certification for the week ending Sept. 4 through Sept. 11, regardless of claim-filing status (weekly/biweekly).
To ensure a seamless transition from the PEUC program to a new, regular UI claim, individuals should file their claim certifications as early as possible, as 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 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 Hawai‘i. 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 Sept. 4 should not file a new, initial claim and instead seek assistance at their county’s American Job Center.
The AJC Hawai‘i is a free, one-stop center that provides career counseling, HireNet Hawai‘i 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 hawaiiunemploymentinfo.com/resources/. For more information about UI and other labor issues is available at the frequently-asked-questions page, labor.hawaii.gov/covid-19-labor-faqs/.
Source: The Garden Island