Thousands of Hawaii's unemployed await extension - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Thousands of Hawaii's unemployed await extension

Lindsey Boswell Lindsey Boswell
Ryan Markham Ryan Markham

 By Holly Juscen – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's another trip to the unemployment insurance office for Lindsey Boswell. The 27- year old was laid off ten months ago from her construction job at Granite Tile, a company that went belly up.

"I'm continually looking for a job on a daily basis, but there's nothing out there. When there is an opportunity for an interview you are one of fifty. Its really frustrating the level of pay out there right now, it's definitely not what I'm used to, " said Lindsey Boswell, whose been on unemployment for almost a year.

There may be help on the way for Boswell and more than 6,000 of Hawaii's unemployed whose insurance is about run out. Congress is on the verge of passing another federally funded extension for unemployment benefits.

"There are several different tiers to for people to qualify for, so if you had exhausted one of those tiers you could get more. It all depends on your eligibility, " said Ryan Markham, with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Department of Labor officials are gearing up for the influx of people who will file for an extension. No matter what statistic show, there are still over 40-thousand people collecting unemployment insurance in Hawaii.

John Schlumps is a software developer who was laid off last Thursday, he's trying to stay optimistic.

"It's the first time for me to be collecting benefits, I have a lot of other stuff going on, so I keep busy. I think I will be OK until my severance package runs out, " said John Schlumps, who was recently laid off.

But for Boswell, who continues to struggle finding a job, hope is running out.

"I just moved out of my place, I don't have an income so I cant get a credit application for a new place. I am staying with friends. It's all connected to job and money. If they don't pass that extension, a lot of people could be homeless and hungry, " said Boswell.

Each month, unemployment benefits run out for about 2,100 people here in Hawaii, so this federal extension would be a welcome sight.

The bill is expected to pass over the next few days, and benefits would be extended through Nov. 30th.

 

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