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The Process to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Hawaii

If you want to learn how to claim unemployment benefits in Hawaii, you have come to the right place to familiarize yourself with the state requirements. Local regulations to establish and maintain continued eligibility for federal unemployment benefits include registering for work and other requirements.

We have compiled helpful information, hints, and tips about claiming unemployment benefits in Hawaii on this website and FAQs and our free guide. Learn more about unemployment benefits in Hawaii by reading below, checking out our Hawaii FAQs, and reading our free guide.

Learn About Unemployment Benefits in Hawaii

You can receive your first federal unemployment benefits check in about three weeks after your initial claim if you meet all of the eligibility requirements for the program. However, any situations that raise conflicts with your qualifications will delay payment pending an investigation.

The HI unemployment benefits claim must be filed within seven days from the end of the two-week period, or benefits may be denied for late filing. When you file for a biweekly period, you must file for each week separately.

Learn About Filing a Claim in Hawaii

The unemployment benefits claim week begins on Sunday and runs through the following Saturday. You should complete the application process for unemployment benefits in HI on the first Sunday after your job separation.

Once you file a new or re-opened unemployment benefits claim in Hawaii, you must certify weekly or biweekly when requesting unemployment insurance payments. Your confirmation page or email confirmation will have a link to download your weekly/biweekly schedule.

Note: If you do not claim unemployment benefits for two or more consecutive weeks, you must reactivate your claim to resume filing (though an exception exists for partial claims). Unemployment insurance claims are only considered properly filed if they are submitted after reactivation. Any prior weeks may be denied.

You can file courtesy unemployment benefits claim certifications online for two consecutive weeks if you go out of state to look for work. However, you must transfer your claim if you are permanently relocating or staying more than two weeks.

As soon as you return to work, report your employment including your hours worked and gross earnings for the week (even if not paid yet) on your next claim certification. If you earn less than your WBA during the week that you return to work (provided you did not work full-time hours), your unemployment insurance payment will be your WBA minus any gross earnings you received that exceed $150.

How Long You May Receive Benefits in Hawaii

The minimum weekly benefit amount is set by law at $5 per week. Your weekly benefit amount (WBA) in Hawaii is calculated using your reported earnings in what is referred to as the base period.

The base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. In some cases, you may only qualify for unemployment using the alternate base period, which consists of the last four completed quarters.

To calculate your weekly benefit amount (WBA), the state takes the highest quarter of wages in your base period and divides that amount by 21. However, your WBA cannot exceed the state’s maximum for the calendar year or weekly allotment.

Regarding how many weeks you can claim unemployment benefits in Hawaii, your claim is good for one year from the effective date of submission. However, you can only be paid for 26 weeks of UI during the one-year period that your unemployment benefits claim is effective.

Federal Unemployment Benefits and Income Taxes in Hawaii

Unemployment benefits and unemployment benefits extensions are taxable if they are sufficient in amount (either separate or combined with your other income). These benefits will be listed on Form 1099-G, which is mailed to all beneficiaries in January.

You may elect to have federal taxes withheld at a set rate of 10 percent and Hawaii state taxes withheld at a rate of five percent to avoid paying later.

Note: As no adjustments are made for repayments on overpaid benefits, you need to keep the receipt of any repayment for tax return purposes.

Last Updated: October 10, 2022