Big Island Coronavirus Updates

All Federal Unemployment, Programs Related to Pandemic Ends Sept. 4, 2021

August 31, 2021, 11:45 AM HST
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The additional federal unemployment aid related to the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to an end Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.

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.

The state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) has been fielding a lot of questions from claimants asking whether they will qualify for a new unemployment insurance claim.

“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,” DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio explained. “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 September 4 will be made whole and receive those benefits as long as they are otherwise qualified.”

The DLIR sent an email 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, 2021, between Sept. 5 and Sept. 11, 2021, regardless of claim filing status (weekly/biweekly). To ensure a seamless transition from the PEUC program to a new regular unemployment insurance 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.

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Eligibility criteria for new, regular claims is posted here.

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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 Hawaii. 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, 2021, should not file a new initial claim and instead seek assistance at their county’s American Job Center (AJC). The AJC Hawaii is a free, one-stop center that provides career counseling, HireNet Hawaii 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, click here.

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Resources are also available with the State Department of Human Services here.

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 on unemployment benefits, click here.

For more information about unemployment insurance and other labor issues, visit the FAQs page.

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