State prepares to begin unemployment payments to freelancers, gig workers

State prepares to begin unemployment payments to freelancers, gig workers
State unemployment office (Source: None)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state’s system to pay out federal funds to independent contractors and gig workers is now up and running.

PUA, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, will help those normally not covered by unemployment insurance (such those who get 1099 tax forms).

To apply or for more information, click here.

Here are some frequently asked questions on the system:

When will payments begin to go out?

Payments will start being disbursed May 18.

If the system only launched Friday why have some people received notifications that their applications have already been processed?

Applications are processed in the order received, in batches. There were 20,968 applications on the system ahead of the launch date and those were used to test the system ahead of it going live.

If someone receives confirmation of a processed claim, does that mean it is was accepted and payment is coming or could you still be rejected?

The claimant must certify for each week of benefits that he/she meets the PUA eligibility requirements. During the initial phase, the PUA application will automatically certify the applicant for the weeks prior to the week the application is filed. Thereafter, the applicant is required to certify for each week of benefits being claimed that he/she meets the PUA eligibility requirements.

Do PUA applicants also get the extra $600 weekly, plus up from the federal government?

Yes. The extra $600 per week, which is referred to as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, is only payable for eligible weeks of unemployment beginning 03/29/20 and ending 07/25/20.

What makes a claimant ineligible for PUA?

Someone who quit voluntarily, was discharged for cause, or committed fraud, will not be eligible for PUA benefits.

This story will be updated.

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