What are unemployment benefits?
Unemployment benefits provide you with temporary income when you lose your job through no fault of your own. The money partly replaces your lost earnings and helps you pay expenses while looking for new work. The benefits, from taxes your former employer(s) paid, are not based on financial need. While you receive benefits, your job is to get back to work as quickly as possible.
COVID19: Governor Ige by proclamation has waived the 3-job search requirement.
How to apply for unemployment benefits
Apply for benefits online at: huiclaims.hawaii.gov. Due to COVID19 all unemployment offices are closed to the public. These steps will help guide you through the process.
- We have video for fling unemployment insurance online to learn more about setting up your user account and submitting a claim for benefits online. Hawaii Instructional Video for Filing Unemployment Insurance Online.
- We have video for fling weekly claim certifications. To learn more about filing claim certification at: Hawaii Instructional Video for Weekly Claim Certification Online.
Dealing with fraud: We take fraud Misrepresenting or knowingly withholding information is considered fraud and you may be denied benefits for future weeks, have to pay back benefits you have received, and be subject to additional penalties.
Before you apply
Gather the information you’ll need to complete the application:
- Your name, Social Security number, birthdate and contact information including an email address.
- Your complete work history for the past 18 months including:
- employer name(s)
- phone number(s)
- start and end dates of employment for each employer
- Your bank account and routing number
On this page
Step 1: Eligibility | Step 2: Apply online | Step 3: After you apply | Step 4: Look for work | Step 5: File a weekly claim or reopen a claim |
Step 1: Eligibility
If you’re out of work, and not sure if you’re eligible for unemployment benefits, please use the links below for information about your possible eligibility.
- If you were laid off as a result of COVID-19, you are likely eligible. See the COVID-19 Labor Benefits Fact Sheet for details about changes to eligibility.
- If you are unsure of your eligibility after reading the guides below, apply anyway. Complete the application as best you can and we will follow up with you as soon as possible.
Step 2: Apply online
Please have the necessary information ready before you start.
We have video for fling unemployment insurance online to learn more about setting up your user account and submitting a claim for benefits online. Hawaii Instructional Video for Filing Unemployment Insurance Online.
A confirmation page appears when you successfully submit an application. You also will receive verification by email. The email may be delayed due to the high volume of filings.
Step 3: After you apply
You will receive an Unemployment claim determination letting you know if you are eligible for benefits and how much you will receive. Please be patient as process claims.
- Read the Handbook for unemployment benefits. You’re responsible for knowing the requirements and following the rules.
- Report honestly
- Watch for and read any information we send you. This information may be time sensitive and affect your eligibility for benefits.
- Start your job search right away and document it. (See step 4)
- Submit your weekly claims (See step 5)
Step 4: Look for work
The job search requirement to receive Unemployment Insurance benefits is waived temporarily due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Get job-search assistance
Workforce Development Council can help you improve your job-search skills, find your next job and plan your career path.
Step 5: Submit a weekly claim or restart a claim
After you apply for unemployment benefits, you must submit a weekly claim online for every week you wish to receive benefits. Your weekly claim covers the prior week. For unemployment purposes, a week runs from Sunday through Saturday – you cannot claim for the week until it is over.
Watch weekly claim certification video