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Saturday, October 10, 2020
27,000 Hawaii workers exhausted jobless benefits in September
By News Release @ 5:19 PM :: 724 Views :: Economy, Hawaii Statistics, Labor

STATE RELEASES UPDATED UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE INFORMATION

News Release from DLIR, Oct 8, 2020

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: LINK 1 and LINK 2. 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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COVERAGE:

27,000 Hawaii workers exhausted their state jobless benefits in September

HNN: … Nearly 27,000 unemployed workers in Hawaii exhausted their 26 weeks of state jobless benefits in September, in a stark reminder of just how long the state has been grappling with the economic fallout of COVID-19….In August, 1,126 workers exhausted their jobless aid. In July, it was 754….

The good news: A federally-funded program will pay up to 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits, as long as they apply for it, and then a state extended benefit program will kick in….

“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 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits,” she said.

“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."

The number of people who exhausted aid in September is a huge uptick from previous months. For perspective, the total number of people who used up all of their state unemployment benefits from January through September is about 32,000….

read … 27,000 Hawaii workers exhausted their state jobless benefits in September

Hawaii 2020 unemployment claims surpass 380,000

KHON: … A total of 384,102 weekly initial unemployment claims have been filed in 2020, according to the Hawaii Department of Industrial Relations (DLIR).

This is up from 48,732 initial claims filed by the same time in 2019….

While the unemployment rate has decreased significantly since the first shutdown in March — from 22.3% in April to 12.5% in August — there were still more than 5,000 new unemployment filings this week….

To view weekly unemployment statistics updates, click here.

read … Hawaii 2020 unemployment claims surpass 380,000

TGI: Faulty information delaying some jobless claims 

HPR: Unemployment Call Center Averages 150,000 Daily Calls During First Week

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