Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Scott Murakami joined the COVID-19 Care Conversation today to share updates on unemployment claims and the new PUA system.
Murakami said that DLIR has made some significant progress after implementing changes last week. As of today, 60% of claims received have been processed. Of the claims processed, 70% have been paid out. There are still over 90,000 claims that need to be processed.
Murakami stated that three biggest challenges for the department are certifying claims, addressing busy phone lines, and responding to the significant number of email inquiries. New technology launched on Sunday allowed the department to double its number of certifications which resulted in an increase in processed claims. It is now considering cloud-based solutions to address busy phone lines issues and hopes that an increase in personnel answering emails will elevate the number of backlogged inquiries.
Murakami addressed questions about the new PUA system, stating that it is on track to begin processing applications following the 15-day pre-launch application period and that another state department will be helping with the management, oversight, and roll out of the program.
Murakami suggested to avoid filing claims on Sunday mornings and recommended filing during the afternoon and evening. He also said that if an individual has been offered work then denying the offer to work will affect the individual’s unemployment insurance benefit.
Those who may have made a mistake on their filed claim will need to wait until they are contacted by DLIR staff. There is no way for an individual to fix their claim once submitted, he said. With this in mind, Murakami strongly suggests individuals take their time when filing a claim.
Watch here and comment through our Facebook page. Join us tomorrow for our “Ask a Doctor” segment with Dr. Melinda Ashton from Hawaii Pacific Health.
The COVID-19 Care Conversation, sponsored by Hawai’i Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Pacific Health, airs live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.