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Hawaii labor office to begin accepting phone appointments

For those trying for months during this pandemic to get help on complex, disputed unemployment insurance claims, the state is finally accepting telephone appointments starting Monday.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced today in a news release it will allow claimants to schedule slots beginning on Aug. 23.

Claimants will be able to speak with DLIR claims examiners who can actually assist them with fact-finding on their claims, the state said in a news release.

They can request appointments online at labor.hawaii.gov/ui.

Select “Now Accepting Appointments” from the list on the right of the page.

No phone number is available.

“The adjudication process requires detailed fact-finding and can include information provided by both the claimant as well as the separating employer,” said DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio. Overpayments also fall in this category and require due process to make a fair and impartial determination, she added.

Anytime a claimant files an initial claim or a weekly claim, an “issue” can arise on the claim because a question of eligibility is raised and the claim must be adjudicated to determine the most appropriate resolution.

Issues arise when information the claimant provides conflicts with what the separating employer provides, perhaps stating the person was terminated or refused employment.

Determinations of eligibility are subject to appeal by either the claimant or the employer who does not agree with the outcome.

DLIR must investigate job separation to determine eligibility of unemployment insurance benefits.

Unemployment benefits are not available to employees who are terminated for cause, quit their job without good cause or refuse to return to work. Attempts to collect benefit payments in these situations could be viewed as fraudulent.

The adjudication process is separate from the undisputed unemployment insurance benefits process. Customer representatives at the UI Call Centers do not have access to adjudication information.

For more information about the adjudicated claims telephone system please visit: hawaiiunemploymentinfo.com.

For more information about unemployment insurance and other labor issues please visit the FAQs at labor.hawaii.gov/covid-19-labor-faqs.

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