Out-of-work Hawaii residents exhausting their unemployment benefits can begin to apply for extended coverage as early as tomorrow.
The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced today that the federal government is providing a second extension to state unemployment benefits that will add 13 weeks to the state’s normal 26-week coverage and a previous 13-week extension known as Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC.
The new extension, under the Federal-State Extended Benefits program, allows eligible residents who lost work during the coronavirus pandemic to receive as many as 52 weeks of benefits, or a year’s worth compared with the prior 9-month limit.
“The Extended Benefits program provides a much-needed safety net for Hawaii claimants who have exhausted their current benefits and are still dealing with the long-term effects of unemployment due to COVID-19,” DLIR Director Anne Eustaquio said in a statement.
Under the program, the weekly benefit amount is the same as what an individual earns through their regular state unemployment insurance benefit.
To qualify, individuals must be unemployed or underemployed, and be available and able to work.
The extended benefits program is available in states where unemployment is particularly bad. DLIR said Hawaii is one of 44 states to qualify since the beginning of this month.
DLIR also said potentially eligible individuals will be identified, notified by mail and advised to apply online.
Reviewing applications for the extended benefits takes at least 14 business days, according to the agency.