State Releases Updated Unemployment Insurance InformationPosted on Oct 8, 2020 in News
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
DAVID Y. IGE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 8, 2020
STATE RELEASES UPDATED UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE INFORMATION
HONOLULU — The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced that its new virtual call center experienced 150,000 calls on a daily basis since opening last week. The department and its vendor have determined that a majority of those calls were claimants using autodialing (robocalls) that initially flooded the center and made it very hard for normal callers, but the contractor has implemented solutions to prevent this and claimants can now wait in queue and get through to an agent.
“We’re starting to see a large number of claimants file for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC the 13-week extension, as more claimants exhaust their twenty-six weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits, ” said Director Anne Eustaquio. “The biggest challenge we have now involves claimants not answering phone calls from unemployment insurance staff due to phone network services identify the calls as spam or telemarketers.”
The manual PEUC claim application process takes twenty-one days to complete just as when a new claim is filed. The DLIR believes that many claimants are answering the questions incorrectly and has posted information at the following links to assist claimants filing correctly: https://labor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/PEUC-How-to-Apply-.pdf and https://twitter.com/HI_DLIR/status/1313929573239648256. The DLIR is also following up with all claimants that do not qualify based on their answers to the questions.
The DLIR continues to make significant progress in the processing of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims. The department is proceeding with redetermining PUA appeals filed instead of sending the disputes to the Appeals Referee. The redeterminations found as valid claims are paid much more quickly than appeals decisions.
For more information about unemployment insurance and other labor issues please visit the FAQs at https://labor.hawaii.gov/covid-19-labor-faqs/.
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Department of Labor and Industrial Relations