Question: They keep saying that PEUC ends Saturday, but what if I have a balance? Will I get those weeks?
Answer: No. This is one of the most common questions Kokua Line is receiving at the moment, so we want to be absolutely clear. By “balance” you mean that you have not exhausted your eligibility in the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which offered more than a year’s worth of benefits. If you’ve claimed and are paid, say, 20 weeks of PEUC through the program’s last payable week (Saturday), that’s all you’ll get, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
There is a distinction between claimed and paid, so we’ll also address a separate question, which is coming in from readers with pending, unpaid claims.
People whose pending PEUC claims are ultimately resolved in their favor would receive payments after the program officially ends, for the weeks they are deemed eligible when it was in force, the DLIR says. The department commonly refers to such retroactive payments as “making claimants whole.” They have occurred throughout the pandemic as the DLIR catches up on resolving disputed claims.
So, to recap: No, people cannot claim weeks beyond the program’s expiration, even if they had not exhausted PEUC eligibility. Yes, claimants with pending claims can be paid later for weeks they had previously claimed and for which they are deemed eligible.
PEUC is just one of the federal unemployment compensation programs scheduled to end Saturday. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation also are due to expire that day.
For more information, see hawaiiunemploymentinfo.com.
Q: How will the new rule for indoor dining work at school cafeterias when so many students aren’t old enough to be vaccinated?
A: It doesn’t apply. Pre-K-through-grade 12 schools are exempt from Honolulu County’s emergency order requiring COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to dine indoors at certain establishments. Moreover, the new rule, which is scheduled to take effect Sept. 13, exempts children under 12 at restaurants and other places covered by the order. The new program, called Safe Access O‘ahu, covers restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, museums, arcades and similar establishments, according to Honolulu County’s website, oneoahu.org. As you noted, children under 12 are not eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Q: Can I renew my driver’s license at any satellite city hall?
A: No. Only four of Oahu’s nine satellite city halls process driver’s license renewals: Downtown, Hawaii Kai, Pearlridge and Windward City. You also can renew at a driver licensing center. Go to AlohaQ.org to make an appointment.
I had an appointment to resolve my UI claim, and it was canceled without warning. The labor department is still dropping the ball! — Reader
(The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations posted an apology on its website, saying that it made a mistake scheduling some appointments, which it subsequently canceled. The problem mainly affected Oahu claimants. The notice said affected claimants should receive an email to reschedule.)
Mahalo to the woman in a silver or white Tacoma who prepaid for my breakfast meal at the Waipio Jack in the Box drive-thru earlier this month. I want to thank her and say that I’m going to return the favor to someone else. It’s people like her who give me hope that society is not totally self-concerned. I just wish that there were more people like her. I’m going to add to the humanity group she’s in. Choke mahalos! — Dwayne N.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.