Surge in COVID cases delays reopening of Hawaii’s unemployment offices; new services will be offered instead


HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii’s unemployment offices will not reopen as planned on Sept. 7 due to the ongoing COVID case surge. The Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) instead will be expanding phone appointments for claimants with general inquiries.

DLIR will also launch phone appointments for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims and for Employer Services. The call center will continue its operations.

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“The high level of community transmission of COVID-19 makes it extremely difficult to ensure the safety of our customers as well as staff,” said DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio. “However, we recognize how equally important it is that we continue to serve the public as best as we can, and we are rolling out several new initiatives to enhance our services to the community. We will continue to assess the situation and hope to again offer in-person service as soon as the situation allows.”

Below are the new services beginning Sept. 7:

  • Expanded phone appointments (from three days to five days a week) for claimants with general inquiries,
  • Phone appointments for PUA claims, and
  • Phone appointments for Employer Services inquiries, such as employer registration and the online filing and collection of employer state unemployment taxes

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

Click here for more information about unemployment insurance and other labor issues.

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