State Releases Updated Unemployment Insurance InformationPosted on Sep 3, 2020 in News
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
DAVID Y. IGE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2020
STATE RELEASES UPDATED UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE INFORMATION
State Has Issued Nearly $3 Billion in Benefits Since March 1
HONOLULU — The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $2,995,402,610 and 3,015,688 weeks claimed since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on March 1, 2020.
“We are anticipating a significant increase of workers exhausting their regular twenty-six weeks of benefits due to the onset of the pandemic in late February and March. These claimants will need to apply for the 13-week extension (PEUC) by signing into the portal and we have posted graphics to illustrate the process at https://labor.hawaii.gov/ui/main/peuc-how-to-apply/,” said Acting Director Anne Eustaquio.
|No. of claims filed statewide:||279,542|
|No. of invalid claims filed statewide:||-96,687|
|No. of valid claims awaiting claimant to verify:||-9,583|
|No. of valid claims requiring DLIR action||182,855|
|No. of claims paid:||171,855|
|No. of claims requiring DLIR action 9/2/20||11,000|
With the assistance of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), the DLIR received approval to pay four weeks of benefits in a new unemployment insurance plus up program called the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program. The program, under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was created by the President via a memorandum earlier this month in response to the July expiration of the unemployment $600 weekly benefit.
“We’re diligently building a new program within the unemployment computer system to implement and pay LWA benefits as soon as possible,” said Acting Director Eustaquio. “To qualify for the $300 plus-up, recipients must be eligible for at least $100 in weekly benefits and must self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Payments would be retroactive to August 1, 2020.”
Unlike the FPUC program that ended in July, LWA is a grant with a finite amount of funding. When FEMA exhausts its grant funding, it will no longer have the resources to provide LWA payments and the program will end. If the federal program does not exhaust the LWA grant funding, payments will end on Dec. 26, 2020.
The DLIR continues to experience a high volume of attempts at fraud in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. As of September 1, the department received 115,992 applications and processed 111,326 or 96% of the applications. The department continues to receive hundreds of fraudulent PUA claims weekly. To date, the DLIR has paid up to $46.5M in fraudulent claims and prevented $616M in fraudulent benefits.
For more information about unemployment insurance and other labor issues please visit: https://labor.hawaii.gov/covid-19-labor-faqs/.
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Department of Labor and Industrial Relations