Here’s how wildfire survivors can apply for unemployment benefits

Maui wildfire victims can now access unemployment benefits through FEMA till September 25th
Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 9:46 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 27, 2023 at 5:46 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui wildfire victims can now access unemployment benefits through FEMA. Eligible individuals can receive between $254 to $763 a week through Feb. 10, 2024.

Jade Butay, director of the state’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, joined HNN’s Sunrise Weekends to urge Maui residents to apply for the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program.

“The disaster unemployment assistance is for those people who are not eligible for the regular unemployment insurance ... business owners and self employed, they usually have 1099 on their IRS tax form,” Butay said.

He added that at least 10,792 regular initial unemployment insurance claims were filed on Friday.

Regular unemployment insurance and DUA benefits cannot be paid concurrently.

Applicants should visit to determine which benefits they’re eligible for. Claims can be filed online, over the phone or in person.

For help filing your claim including language services, call (833) 901-2272 or (808) 762-5751. The DLIR call center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

Required documents to apply are:

-A government-issued identification (driver’s license, passport, alien registration card, etc.)

-Social Security number

-Copy of the most recent federal income tax form, check stubs or documentation to support that you were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. Such documentation for the self-employed can be obtained from banks or government entities or affidavits from individuals having knowledge of their businesses.

-Have your bank information ready (such as routing number and account number) since benefit payments are made by direct deposit.

Identity Validation. Applicants are required to verify their identity digitally through or at a U.S. Postal Service post office.

Applicants can also obtain assistance on the following locations:

• Family Assistance Center: Hyatt Regency Maui (Ka’anapali Beach), Monarchy Ballroom, 200 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina, HI 96761

• Maui Claims Office: 54 South High St. Rm. 201, Wailuku, HI 96793-2198, Phone: (808) 984-8400

• American Job Center Hawaii-Maui: 110 Ala’ihi St. #209, Kahului, HI 96732, Phone: (808) 270-5777

Weekly Claims. Weekly claims forms must be postmarked or received by the claims office within seven (7) days from the week claimed ending date. For example, if you were filing a claim for the week ending August 19, 2023, your claim must be postmarked or received no later than August 26. However, the claim may still be accepted after 7 days from the above week ending date (August 19) if you can show good cause for late filing. Weekly claims forms and instructions are available at:

Mail claims address:

Maui Claims Office

Room 201

54 S. High Street

Wailuku, HI 96793-2198

Examples of eligible DUA claims may include:

  • Workers, business owners, and self-employed individuals whose unemployment or underemployment was caused as a direct result of the disaster,
  • Individuals who are prevented from reaching their job or self-employment location due to the disaster,
  • Individuals who were to start or resume employment or self-employment but were prevented by the disaster,
  • Individuals who became the major support of a household because of the death of the head of household due to the disaster, or
  • Individuals who cannot perform services in employment or self-employment due to an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.