Federal Guidelines for Hawaii Unemployment Compensation Extensions
Unemployment benefits extension programs are available through both the state and federal governments during periods of high unemployment, providing a higher level of economic security to those who are out of work. Unemployment extensions in Hawaii can be obtained by workers who have exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits. The unemployment compensation extension program known as Extended Benefits, for example, allows for 13 additional weeks of benefits. Additionally, various states across the country have initiated a voluntary program that provides an additional seven weeks of extended benefits, totaling a maximum of 20 weeks.
In any case, HI unemployment extensions cannot be applied for on any given day. Only when unemployment benefits extension programs are active in Hawaii can you apply for extended benefits, and this will only occur during times of high statewide unemployment. However, during these times, the government will mail out notifications to those eligible candidates who will receive extended benefits.
To ensure that you are awarded all of the payments that you are eligible for, keep a log of the benefits you have received.
Note: Not everyone who qualifies for regular benefits qualifies for extended benefits. The weekly benefit amount that you will receive from the extended insurance program will be the same as the amount you received for your regular unemployment compensation.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation in Hawaii
There was a federal unemployment extension program that was formerly active called the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08). This program expired in 2013, but while it was active, it included four tiers:
• Tier 1 EUC08: 20-week maximum unemployment extension
• Tier 2 EUC08: 14-week maximum unemployment extension
• Tier 3 EUC08: 13-week maximum unemployment extension
• Tier 4 EUC08: six-week maximum unemployment extension
Claimants normally do not apply for unemployment extensions in HI after their regular benefits are exhausted, because the system automatically enrolls those who are eligible.
Federal-State Extended Duration in Hawaii
Another unemployment benefits extension program is the Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) program, also called Extended Benefits (EB). You can only qualify for EB unemployment compensation extensions if you have exhausted all of your regular unemployment benefits. If you qualify for an EB unemployment extension, you will receive additional benefits in the amount of 20 weeks or 80 percent of your maximum benefit amount, whichever is less.
Remember that you cannot arbitrarily apply for an unemployment benefits extension in Hawaii, as these programs are only available during periods of high unemployment. If you are eligible for an unemployment extension, the government will notify you by mail.
Hawaii State Additional Benefits
Governor Ige has approved unemployment compensation extension legislation which provides for a new temporary program limited to the County of Maui. This program will pay 13 weeks of State Additional Benefits (SAB) to workers who exhaust regular benefits between September 4, 2016 and October 28, 2017. Requirements to qualify for SAB include:
• The individual is not receiving benefits from another state
• The individual is not receiving benefits under federal law or a federal/state extended benefit program
• The individual is not receiving Trade Re-adjustment Allowance (TRA) or Re-employment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA)
• The individual must have worked in Maui County during at least two calendar quarters of the base period in his or her most recent claim.
All eligibility and filing requirements that apply to regular unemployment insurance benefits will apply to an SAB claim. You can apply for SAB online.