COVID-19 Eligibility FAQs

The below are questions and answers to eligibility scenarios for unemployment insurance (UI) due to coronavirus (COVID-19).  The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) will do all that we can to ensure that impacted Hawaii employees receive the UI benefits for which they are eligible for.

Note: UI benefits for self-employed persons, bona fide independent contractors, and others who are disqualified from receiving UI for COVID-19-related reasons may be covered through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program under the CARES Act.  Please file your claim at this site.

COVID-19 AND/OR THE STAY AT HOME/WORK FROM HOME ORDER CAUSED MY EMPLOYER TO SHUT DOWN OR LAY-OFF PEOPLE.  AM I ELIGIBLE FOR UI?

Yes, UI may be available to eligible individuals who are out of work and no longer receiving pay from their employer.

I AM STILL WORKING, BUT MY EMPLOYER REDUCED MY HOURS.  AM I ELIGIBLE FOR UI?

Yes, UI may be available to you depending on the number of hours that have been reduced and the amount of earning for the week.

I AM NOT WORKING, BUT MY EMPLOYER IS STILL PAYING ME.  AM I ELIGIBLE FOR UI?

No, workers who are still receiving pay from their employer are not considered “unemployed” and are not eligible for UI.

I AM NOT WORKING, BUT MY EMPLOYER IS PAYING ME SICK AND/OR VACATION LEAVE.  AM I ELIGIBLE FOR UI?

No, workers who are still receiving pay, including pay for sick or vacation leave, are not considered “unemployed” and are not eligible for UI.

MY WORKPLACE IS CLOSED, BUT AM TELEWORKING BECAUSE OF COVID-19.  AM I ELIGIBLE FOR UI?

No, workers who are still receiving pay, even if teleworking, are not considered “unemployed” and are not eligible for UI.

I HEARD THAT THERE IS A NEW LAW THAT EXPANDED UI.  HOW DOES THIS AFFECT ME?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expanded UI to cover people who typically do not qualify for UI, including those who are self-employed, independent contractors, or gig workers.  Please apply at this site.

I AM SELF-EMPLOYED OR AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR.  AM I ELIGIBLE FOR UI?

Yes, the CARES Act expanded UI coverage to include those who are self-employed or independent contractors.  Please apply at this site.

I QUIT MY JOB TO CARE FOR MY FAMILY MEMBER WHO IS SICK WITH COVID-19.  AM I ELIGIBLE FOR UI?

Yes, the CARES Act expanded UI coverage to include those who quit their job to care for a household member who is ill with COVID-19.  Please apply at this site.

I AM AT HOME CARING FOR MY CHILDREN BECAUSE THEIR SCHOOL OR DAYCARE IS CLOSED.  AM I ELIGIBLE FOR UI?

Yes, the CARES Act expanded UI coverage to include those who are at home caring for children because their school or day is closed as a result of COVID-19.  Please apply at this site.

I WAS RECEIVING UI BEFORE COVID-19, AND MY BENEFITS HAVE EXHAUSTED.  I AM STILL UNABLE TO FIND WORK.  CAN I RECEIVE MORE UI?

It depends.  The CARES Acts extended UI benefits for an additional 13 weeks under the Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program.  The PEUC program provides 13 additional weeks of UI benefits for those who have exhausted their regular claim and have a claim that expired on or after July 6, 2019.  You can apply for the PEUC program by logging into your UI account and clicking “here” under the PEUC message.

I CALLED A PHONE NUMBER OR EMAILED AN EMAIL ADDRESS THAT I FOUND ON THE DLIR WEBSITE, BUT HAVEN’T HEARD BACK.  WHEN WILL I RECEIVE A RESPONSE?

If you contacted a phone number or email address that is not listed below, UI did not receive your message.  Please call or email UI at the information below, so that UI receives your message and can respond.  We ask for your patience as we are experiencing an unprecedented number of emails and telephones calls.

HOW TO CONTACT UI

HUI PASSWORD RESET: (833) 901-2272

UI GENERAL QUESTIONS: (833) 901-2275

REQUEST A BACKDATE: [email protected]

The backdate will be for their first week of less than full employment due to COVID-19.  Please submit your full name, last four digits of your Social Security Number, telephone number (including area code), and the week that you would like your claim backdated to.

REQUEST LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE: [email protected]

Please submit your full name, telephone number (including area code), and the language that would like to receive interpretation services for.  The interpretation services will be provided free of charge and via telephone.

INQUIRE ABOUT A DISQUALIFICATION: [email protected]

This email address is for those who have received an email, letter, or other message (please screenshot) that says that they are disqualified from UI.  Please submit your full name, last four digits of your Social Security Number, telephone number (including area code), and picture of the disqualification.

CALL YOUR LOCAL UI OFFICE AT:

Oahu: (808) 586-8970

Hilo: (808) 974-4086

Kona: (808) 322-4822

Maui: (808) 984-8400

Kauai: (808) 274-3043

EMAIL YOUR LOCAL UI OFFICE AT:

Oahu: [email protected]

Hilo: [email protected]

Kona: [email protected]

Maui: [email protected]

Kauai: [email protected]