Extended unemployment benefits are ready for distribution by the state.
In a statement Thursday, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations estimates that up to 18,000 out-of-work individuals in Hawaii may receive a total of $340 million dollars in benefits due to the extension.
The new dollars were made available when President Barack Obama recently signed legislation that extended jobless benefits for 13 months while keeping tax rates at Bush-era levels for all wage-earners.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in the statement that the infusion of federal dollars will help accelerate Hawaii’s economic recovery.