HONOLULU — The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced that programming updates and federal funding has allowed the department to offer a choice of either Extended Benefits (EB20) or Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PEUC) for claimants that filed for EB20 between Dec. 15, 2020 and Dec. 28, 2020. The Continued Assistance Act (CAA) was signed into law extending Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act unemployment provisions on Dec. 28.
This evening the department will send emails to claimants that filed for EB20 between Dec. 15 and Dec. 28. Claimants will have until Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m. to choose one of two options. Claimants that do not respond will have their claim automatically processed for EB20. Claimants will need to login to their web account and click on the “Extended Benefits Survey” button to make their selection. The survey is available on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Monday to Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Claimants choosing to continue their PEUC claim will receive benefits from weeks ending Jan. 2 and onwards. The department is currently performing programming and testing to implement the extended PEUC program.
The department issued Federal Pandemic Unemployment (FPUC, $300 plus-up) for all eligible claimants for weeks ending Jan.2 through Jan. 23 during the last week. All eligible claimants will receive FPUC for weeks ending Jan. 2 through March 13, 2021.
“Although we are happy to bring much-needed relief to certain claimants, we are also diligently working to launch other aspects of the Continued Assistance Act, including the extended Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program for eligible claimants,” said Anne Perreira-Eustaquio, DLIR Director. “We have exercised great caution in programming changes due to the nature of the antiquated mainframe at the core of the unemployment insurance system and the complexity of the new programs. Any benefits delayed will be paid retroactively if necessary and claimants will be made whole.”
The DLIR will make announcements via its website, news releases, in the unemployment insurance portal, and at https://twitter.com/HI_DLIR as it implements provisions of the COVID-19 relief bill.
Important note: None of the benefits described above, nor unemployment benefits of any kind, are available to employees who are terminated for cause, quit their job without good cause, refuse to return to work, or refuse to receive full-time pay. Attempts to collect benefit payments in these situations could be viewed as fraudulent. Investigation of job separation is part of the eligibility determination process.
For more information about unemployment insurance and other labor issues please visit the FAQs at https://labor.hawaii.gov/covid-19-labor-faqs/.