Denied Unemployment Benefits in Hawaii

The reasons for denied unemployment benefits in Hawaii are varied and may involve an initial disqualification or a problem that occurred during the course of your filing for weekly benefits.

Should an applicant be denied employment in HI, he or she has recourse to file an unemployment denial appeal with the state.

To learn more about this process and how to resolve a case of unemployment benefit denial, continue on to read the sections below.

Hawaii Unemployment Resources

Denied Unemployment in Hawaii as a Result of Initial Disqualification

You could get your unemployment benefits denied in Hawaii because of any of the following disqualifications:

  • You left your job without good reason and without trying reasonable alternatives.
  • You were terminated by your employer due to misconduct (though you may be able to claim “wrongful termination” if the employer cannot show evidence of this misconduct).
  • You are not physically able to work and are not available for work.
  • You failed to provide the required information when applying for unemployment benefits.
  • You participated in a strike and ceased working.
  • You are a teacher or other educational employee filing for benefits during a school break with reasonable assurance that you will return to work after the break.
  • You are a professional athlete filing between sports seasons.
  • You are an illegal alien.
  • You are currently collecting benefits from another state.
  • You knowingly lied on your unemployment benefits application, which is grounds for criminal prosecution. If convicted of unemployment fraud, you could be fined or imprisoned.
  • You failed to register for work with the state Workforce Development Division (WDD) within seven calendar days after you applied for unemployment insurance benefits. This requirement might be waived for some union members if you are partially unemployed.

Getting Hawaii Unemployment Compensation Benefits Denied After Being Accepted Into the Program

In addition to having unemployment benefits denied due to an initial disqualification, beneficiaries can be denied even after they receive unemployment compensation in Hawaii. For instance, you will have your plea for continued unemployment compensation benefits denied if you choose not to actively seek work, if you refuse to accept a job offer for which you are reasonably suited, or if you are simply unable to work.

Other reasons why you may have unemployment denied in Hawaii include if you fail to make regular claims in a timely manner and if you fail to make at least three job contacts each week. These job contacts may include contacting employers, checking resources at employment offices, checking job listings in HireNetHawaii or attending job fairs or employment workshops.

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Denied unemployment benefits will also be the result if you fail to keep a record of your work search contacts or do not submit this record when it is requested by your local claims office. Furthermore, you will experience denied unemployment benefits in Hawaii if you fail to participate in re-employment services when they are required.

Hawaii Unemployment Denial Appeals

If you are wondering, “What can I do if unemployment denied me benefits?” your best option is to file an appeal. HI unemployment denial appeals can be mailed to your local claims office. Requests for appeals can also be mailed directly to the Employment Security Appeals Referee Office (ESARO), or you can appeal online.

Your request to overturn denied unemployment benefits must be in writing, either on a department form or as a letter, and must be filed within 10 calendar days from the date the notice was mailed to you. If your appeal is filed late but within 30 calendar days, the appeals referee may still accept your request.

If you request a reconsideration of your denied unemployment application, the UI division will decide whether the decision can be reversed. If it cannot, then the request may be forwarded as an unemployment denial appeal to the ESARO, or a redetermination may be issued to you affirming the original determination.

The ESARO, which is independent of the Unemployment Insurance Division, will schedule a hearing and notify you and other interested parties (such as your former employer if there was a voluntary quitting issue) of the date and time of the hearing.

If the appeals referee affirms the Unemployment Insurance Division’s decision denying you unemployment insurance benefits, your next recourse is to file for a judicial review by the Hawaii Circuit Court.


What Is Unemployment Insurance?

Unemployment insurance is a type of government compensation that can be obtained by newly unemployed workers who require financial assistance while they purse new work opportunities. These unemployment benefits are available to eligible individuals for a pre-determined period and help them cover rent, food and other necessary expenses. To find out more about unemployment insurance and how you can start receiving government compensation today, download our guide.


Can Everyone Get Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment insurance is only available to qualified individuals. Applicants must have an acceptable reason for being out of work, they must meet past income thresholds and more. Find out if you qualify to receive unemployment compensation by downloading our comprehensive guide here.

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