Updated: October 1, 2022
The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations will start requiring Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or “PUA” claimants to make three job contacts beginning the week of June 13, 2021. The requirement applies to all PUA claimants who will need to report the contacts in the PUA portal.
“Thousands of Hawaiʻi claimants lost their livelihood during the pandemic through no fault of their own. Now it is our goal to get them back to work,” said DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio. “With vaccines more widely available and the economy recovering, we want people to redouble their efforts to earn a living and aid in our state’s economic recovery.”
The work search requirement for PUA benefits was previously waived due to the pandemic. The new requirement includes those not traditionally covered under the unemployment insurance program, like the self-employed and independent contractors, as well as those ineligible for regular unemployment compensation due to COVID-19 issues such as serving as the primary caretaker of a child that is unable to attend school or for a person whose childcare facility closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
PUA claimants will need to begin reporting the three job contacts on June 20, 2021. Examples of PUA work search could include, but are not limited to: advertising your business, creating a profile on freelance websites, promoting and marketing your business, or meeting with an organization assisting businesses such as the Hawaii Small Business Development Center or the US Small Business Administration.
If an individual was previously self-employed but has no plans to return to self-employment or if they are ineligible for regular UI benefits but eligible for PUA due to COVID-19, then they will be required to do a work search or work search related activity in the same way regular unemployment insurance claimants do so.
Claimants can find helpful Q&As at: hawaiiunemploymentinfo.com.