In Hawaii, as in every other state, employees who are temporarily out of work through no fault of their own may qualify to collect unemployment benefits.
Unemployment benefits are paid as a matter of legal entitlement and past employment, and not on the basis of need.
Employers pay all UI costs through a tax on their payrolls or on a reimbursable basis. Employees do not contribute any part of their wages to the UI program.
How to qualify for unemployment in Hawaii? #
In order to qualify for unemployment in Hawaii, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Have enough prior earnings from employment to establish a claim.
- Be totally or partially unemployed.
- Be unemployed through no fault of your own.
- Be ready and willing to immediately accept work.
- Be actively looking for work and make at least three job contacts each week. 1
As a condition of eligibility, you must register for work with the State Workforce Development Division (WDD). In addition, you will also need to register with HireNet Hawaii within 7 days of filing an initial UI claim application. 2
In addition, you must continue to certify for benefits and meet eligibility requirements each week in order to receive benefit payments.
What is the maximum unemployment benefit in Hawaii? #
Hawaii is one of two states in which the average UI payment covers more than half of the state’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $765 per week.
For a quick reference, this benefit estimator may be used to estimate the unemployment benefits for which you may be eligible.
How long can you collect unemployment in Hawaii? #
In Hawaii, you can collect unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 full weeks during a one-year period called a “benefit year”.
Does Hawaii have unemployment extension? #
Yes, extended benefits may be available for those who continue to be unemployed after exhausting 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits.
This extension is a temporary federal program which pays up to 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits, plus additional 7 weeks for those who qualify.
Is Hawaii unemployment taxable? #
Yes, unemployment benefits are considered taxable income. You may elect to withhold 10% for federal taxes and 5% for Hawaii state taxes from your UI benefits.
To request withholdings, go to: https://uiclaims.hawaii.gov. Login to your online account and under “My Account” click on “Tax Withholdings” and follow the prompts.
How do I apply for unemployment benefits in Hawaii? #
If you are denied benefits and disagree with the “Notice of Decision on Unemployment Insurance Claim,” you may either request a reconsideration or file an appeal to the ESARO 3 within 10 calendar days after the date the notice was mailed to you.
- Keep a record of all your work search contacts on Form UC-253, “Record of Contacts Made for Work,” and submit it upon request.
- HireNet is the state’s official job placement program administered by the Hawaii’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.