In-person unemployment appointments to begin Sept. 7

Some 15,000 Hawaii residents could lose unemployment benefits when federal unemployment programs end Sept. 6.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs end in September, but Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio said during a livestream Wednesday that beneficiaries of those programs may still be eligible for regular unemployment benefits once the federal programs end.

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Perreira-Eustaquio said there are roughly 15,000 people in the state receiving PUA benefits, but couldn’t give an exact number of PEUC beneficiaries in the state. However, she added that there are between 25,000 and 30,000 people receiving regular unemployment benefits in the state each week.

Immediately after the end of PUA and PEUC, the DLIR will reopen in-person appointments in a limited capacity, she said. Beginning Sept. 7, walk-ins will be permitted in the morning hours, with DLIR offices only accepting appointments in the afternoons.

Appointments can be made three weeks in advance, Perreira-Eustaquio said.

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However, phone and Zoom appointments will no longer be held after in-person appointments begin, she said.

According to Perreira-Eustaquio, DLIR will maintain its call center for the foreseeable future, expecting that it will last at least through the beginning of 2022. DLIR is still hiring for call center positions.

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