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Unemployment Offices to Remain Closed Statewide

August 19, 2021, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated August 18, 6:26 PM
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The state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) has announced it will not open statewide offices as planned on Sept. 7, 2021, due to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases.

In what it described as an effort to better serve the public during this time, the DLIR said it will expand telephone appointments for claimants with general inquiries and launch telephone appointments for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims and for Employer Services. The DLIR will also continue to operate its call center.

“The high level of community transmission of COVID-19 makes it extremely difficult to ensure the safety of our customers as well as staff,” said DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio. “However, we recognize how equally important it is that we continue to serve the public as best as we can, and we are rolling out several new initiatives to enhance our services to the community. We will continue to assess the situation and hope to again offer in-person service as soon as the situation allows.”

New initiatives starting on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, include offering:

  • Expanded telephone appointments (from three days to five days a week) for claimants with general inquiries.
  • Telephone appointments for PUA claims (PUA is a program that provides unemployment assistance benefits to individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance).
  • Telephone appointments for Employer Services inquiries such as employer registration and the online filing and collection of employer state unemployment taxes to ensure compliance with Hawaii Employment Security laws.

These initiatives are in addition to the new telephone appointment system announced last week for claimants to schedule appointments to speak with a claims examiner.

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Access to all appointments is available via the web (Chrome or Microsoft Edge) at: labor.hawaii.gov/ui/appointments/.

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None of the benefits described above, nor unemployment benefits of any kind, are available to employees who are terminated for cause, quit their job without good cause, or refuse to return to work. Attempts to collect benefit payments in these situations could be viewed as fraudulent. Investigation of job separation is part of the eligibility determination process.

For more information, visit https://www.hawaiiunemploymentinfo.com/.

For more information about unemployment insurance as well as other labor issues, visit the FAQs at https://labor.hawaii.gov/covid-19-labor-faqs/.

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