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New Unemployment Benefits Program to Launch Tuesday

October 26, 2020, 2:04 PM HST
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More unemployment benefits are on the way to some Hawai‘i workers.

The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) on Monday announced that it would launch Federal-State Extended Benefits (EB) beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 27 to those who have exhausted their state and federal jobless benefits.

The Federal-State Extended Benefits (EB) program kicks in after an unemployed individual exhausts 26 weeks of state unemployment and the 13 weeks of federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

“The Extended Benefits program provides a much-needed safety net for Hawai‘i claimants who have exhausted their current benefits and are still dealing with the long-term effects of unemployment due to COVID-19,” said DLIR Director Anne Eustaquio. “Potentially eligible individuals will be identified and notified by mail and advised to apply for benefits online.”

Claimants must be unemployed or underemployed and be able to work and available for work. The program’s weekly benefit amount is the same as the individual received for regular state unemployment insurance. With the additional 13 weeks, an eligible claimant may receive up to 52 weeks of benefits. A detailed chart explaining how to apply for EB is available online.

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The permanent Federal-State Extended Benefits (EB) program provides an additional thirteen additional weeks of compensation to jobless workers who have exhausted their regular UI benefits in states where the unemployment situation has worsened dramatically.

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The new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides full federal funding for EB through the end of the year. Forty-four states have triggered the EB program as of the beginning of October.

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