Navigating federal, state extensions to unemployment benefits proves frustrating

Navigating federal, state extensions to unemployment benefits proves frustrating

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As more Hawaii workers see their traditional unemployment benefits run out, they’re having to apply for state or federal extensions.

And that process is proving frustrating for many.

Melody Taporco was furloughed from the Grand Hyatt in March.

She said it took months to sort out her regular unemployment benefits. When those were exhausted, she applied for federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, a 13-week extension.

She says those payments went smoothly but she is still waiting on the second PEUC extension.

“When you can’t do anything about it, it makes it just really hard,” she said.

“You have just this little amount of money and you don’t know which to spend it on because you need to be so tight until your next paycheck comes, but you don’t know when that’s going to happen.”

A Labor Department spokesperson said that unfortunately, the programming for the revised law with the federal extensions takes longer to process than regular benefits because of stricter rules.

The Labor Department director declined an interview with Hawaii News Now on the issue.

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