comscore Kokua Line: Hawaii jobless looking for $300 plus-up, other federal aid extensions | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Hawaii jobless looking for $300 plus-up, other federal aid extensions

Question: When are they going to start paying the new plus-up for the unemployed?

Answer: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) will be the first of the newly extended federal benefits to start flowing, which should occur in about a week, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The new plus-up will add $300 a week to the benefits of claimants eligible for a separate unemployment program, such as standard state Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Extended Benefits (EB20) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

“Once implemented, FPUC will be available to cover weeks of unemployment between Dec. 27, 2020, and the week ending March 13, 2021,” according to a table on the DLIR website.

The department has posted information about the new FPUC and other federally funded unemployment benefits at 808ne.ws/dlir. Read the posts titled “CARES Act Extensions Summaries” and “CARES Act Extension Update 1/5.”

As previously reported, many claimants are experiencing delays in their benefits as the DLIR works to implement recent extensions in federally funded benefits.

Q: Some of us have already exhausted all our benefits, including EB20. Is there anything left for us?

A: Yes, claimants who have exhausted EB20 benefits may be eligible for the 11-week extension in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, according to the DLIR, although that extension has yet to be implemented in Hawaii.

“We will announce the launch of the PEUC 11-week extension after guidance and funding are provided by the U.S. Department of Labor and UI system programming is completed,” the DLIR says in a note on its website.

According to a flow chart on the website, people in your situation would be paid retroactively for missed eligible weeks after the PEUC extension is launched.

Mahalo

I’d like to express a big mahalo to the citizens of Honolulu. I’m an 86-year old geezer who struggles to walk for an hour around Hunakai Park three to four times a week around 11 p.m. I do walk slowly, stooped-over, and unsteadily, in just my bathing suit and bare feet, so maybe I look like I’m drunk, demented, or a derelict, but it’s surprising, impressive, and reassuring to discover how many people stop to ask me if I’m OK. This happens several times a month and has been going on over the last two years, so there are dozens of people out there looking out for their fellow citizens. I am motivated to write now because this happened twice already this week! First, and more understandably, a police officer pulled over to the curb and courteously asked if I was OK. So I gave my usual explanation that I’m exercising to keep my weight down to control my blood pressure and blood sugar. But then she pointed at my feet and asked why I was barefoot. I explained that I don’t want to have tender feet so I always walk barefoot to toughen them up. That seemed to satisfy her and after fist bumps she drove off. Then, on Tuesday night, a lady stopped across the street and asked me if I was OK. I’m always surprised when a woman who appears to be alone in her car will stop and ask a stranger if he is OK. They must have a strong nurturing instinct to do so, and I am very grateful for their concern for their fellow “man.” I assured her that I was OK, just exercising, and thanked her. I walk late because earlier there are all the walkers and dog walkers who often ask that question, and also I have to wear a mask. But sometimes if I’m feeling chatty I’ll answer their question by saying: “Well, if I were 70 I’d be terrified about my condition, and if I were 100 I’d be ecstatic, but I’m 86 and probably about normal, so OK. Thank you for asking.” — Aloha, G.R.


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 kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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