comscore Kokua Line: Website for Hawaii jobless claims herds filers back to upgraded portal | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Website for Hawaii jobless claims herds filers back to upgraded portal

                                The Unemployment Insurance Claims office is seen on March 19 in Honolulu.


    The Unemployment Insurance Claims office is seen on March 19 in Honolulu.

Question: Can you find out what happened to the “Check My Claim Status” link on the Hawaii Unemployment Online Services website? I tried to check my status Thursday morning, but the link isn’t there anymore.

Q: Is the unemployment office still using what they call “the web form” to file? My friend just got laid off from a hotel on Kauai, and she can’t find the online form the rest of us used.

Answer: The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations removed both direct links from its homepage on Thursday, Kokua Line confirmed after receiving a flurry of similar calls and emails.

Claimants must use the portal at to file and manage their unemployment claims, said Bill Kunstman, DLIR spokesman. It can handle greater capacity now.

For new claimants, the process includes creating an online account, applying for benefits, filing claim certifications, checking claim and/or payment status and, if a claim is denied, filing appeals.

“The web form is not necessary as the portal is now available via the SQL server and fewer filing errors occur using the portal versus the web form,” Kunstman said, adding that claimants can check their claim’s status by logging into their online accounts.

An SQL server is a database management system capable of storing and retrieving data on the same computer or across a network.

Q: Does the federal stimulus check need to be declared in Hawaii’s unemployment weekly filing, or is it exempt from earned income?

A: The Economic Impact Payment is not income — it’s an advance on a federal tax credit. So no, you wouldn’t declare the $1,200 stimulus (or whatever portion you received) as income in your unemployment claim, or anywhere else, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

“The payment is not income and taxpayers will not owe tax on it. The payment will not reduce a taxpayer’s refund or increase the amount they owe when they file their 2020 tax return next year. A payment also will not affect income for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs,” the agency says on its website.

To be clear, we’re talking about the one-time payment from the U.S. Treasury Department. The maximum amount was $1,200 for an individual or $2,400 for a couple filing jointly, plus $500 for each qualifying child.

Q: You’ve said who is eligible for the stimulus, but I never got any, so I’d like to know who is not eligible. Is there a list someplace? If I know for sure, I can stop looking for it. I knew there was a sliding scale on income, but what is it exactly?

A: The IRS says people likely won’t qualify for any Economic Impact Payment if any of the following apply:

>> Your adjusted gross income is greater than:

• $99,000 if your filing status was single or married filing separately.

• $136,500 for head of household.

• $198,000 for married filing jointly.

>> You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. This would include a child, student or older dependent who can be claimed on a parent’s return.

>> You do not have a valid Social Security number.

>> You are a nonresident alien.

>> You filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or Form 1040-SS for 2019.

Q: What’s the income cap for the maximum stimulus payment?

A: Eligible individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 receive the maximum $1,200, while couples filing jointly with AGI up to $150,000 receive the maximum $2,400. Those amounts shrink as income rises, until disappearing altogether as described in the previous question.


Please tell me I’m not the only person who thinks it’s terrible that fellow citizens are embracing the police state with such gusto, so quick to track down a single tourist or report someone for not wearing a mask. It’s a gross overreaction with serious unintended consequences. — A reader

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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