State issues new guidance for those seeking extension of jobless benefits

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Updated: Feb. 1, 2021 at 1:52 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state issued an important update to jobless benefits Sunday for those waiting for their payments through one of two extension programs.

The state Department of Labor said anyone who filed for extended benefits between Dec. 15 to 28 through one of two programs can change their election.

The two programs are the federally-funded Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation or the state-funded Extended Benefits.

Many people opted for the federal program, but those funds have not yet been disbursed.

Because there is no timeline for when the money will be available, the state says claimants can elect to switch to the state extended benefits program or stick with the federal program.

For applicants electing to switch to extended benefits , eligibility begins the week the initial PEUC claim was exhausted and for up to 13 weeks.

“If they choose to go with EB, it’ll take about two business days to process their EB claim,” said Labor Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio.

“Those who say that they want to wait for the PEUC extension so the additional 11 weeks on top of their 13 weeks, they’ll have to wait for that extension that is not yet ready to launch.”

The department said it is currently performing programming and testing to implement the extended PEUC program. As of Jan. 22, over 105,025 people filed claims for extended benefits.

Claimants will have until February 5 at 5:30 p.m. to choose one of two options. Those who do not respond will have their claim automatically processed for extended benefits.

Claimants will need to log on to their web account and click on “Extended Benefits Survey” to make a selection, which is available Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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