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Updated : December 15th, 2022

Hawaii Unemployment Benefits

The UI Division of the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations runs the Hawaii unemployment benefits program. Qualified workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of theirs, can get temporary financial aid through this program until they can find new suitable jobs. Employers pay taxes on their payrolls to fund the system with no contribution from the employees.

Read on to know how you can file claims, whether you are eligible to do so and the nitty-gritty of unemployment compensation in the gorgeous island state of the USA.

Eligibility To Apply For UI Benefits In Hawaii

Qualifying for Unemployment Insurance in Hawaii requires you to meet the conditions set by the Hawaiian government, which take into account your work history. The eligibility conditions are classified as monetary which has to do with wage criteria, job separation i.e. why you lost your job and some general non-monetary conditions.

Monetary Eligibility

To qualify for UI benefits, you should have earned wages for insured work in at least two-quarters of their calendar base period. The Base Period refers to the first four calendar quarters out of the five preceding the effective date of a UI application.

What this means is that if you filed your first UI claim in February 2019, your base period would be October-November-December 2017, January-February-March 2018, April-May-June 2018 and July-August-September 2018. The October-December 2018 quarter would skip.

If your wages are insufficient in this period, the Hawaii DLIR would consider the alternate base period, which is the last four calendar quarters preceding your claim. So, if you filed for UI in  February 2019, your base period would be January-February-March 2018, April-May-June 2018, July-August-September 2018 and October-November-December 2018.

The wages earned for insured work should be at least 26 times the value of your weekly benefit amount. The weekly benefit amount is calculated by dividing the wages in the highest-earning quarter by 21. It should not exceed the maximum weekly benefit amount allowed for the calendar year.

Your claim remains valid for one benefit year, the 52 weeks after the effective date of filing it. During this period, the maximum benefit amount you can get is your WBA multiplied by 26.

After you have applied for unemployment benefits in Hawaii you will be mailed a “Notice of Decision on Unemployment Insurance Claim”. There is an “Unemployment Determination of Insured Status” form which mentions:

  • The wages you have received from past employers during the base period and the total base period wages
  • Your weekly benefit amount
  • Your maximum benefit amount
  • Benefit year

This form determines your monetary eligibility status. If you have been deemed as ineligible or invalid, you can request the DLIR to reconsider the determination using an alternate base period with proof of your wages.

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

Unemployment Compensation is only meant to support those workers whose layoffs are not their own fault. Therefore you may get disqualified if your loss of employment was due to the following:

  • You quit voluntarily and without good cause
  • Your employer can prove that you were terminated for misconduct or suspended for reasons connected to work
  • You have not accepted suitable work and your reasons are not compelling enough
  • You were embroiled in a labor dispute and there was a stoppage of work

There can be random Quality Control Audits where your provided details would be reviewed. Claims are randomly selected to verify the employment record and history, present and past eligibility status, your wages and any determinations given. Your job contacts as mentioned in your claim applications can be contacted for verification.

To know more about your eligibility status with respect to job separation, try out the eligibility calculator to know whether or not you are eligible for benefits.

Eligibility Calculator

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

UI sustains people who have been laid off while they look for new jobs. Thus it is important to meet certain requirements from that perspective.

You can keep drawing unemployment assistance only if you maintain your eligibility by fulfilling the following requirements:

  • You should be totally or partially unemployed. If you work part-time, you should earn less than your WBA and work less than full-time hours
  • You should file claims weekly or on a bi-weekly basis. Payments may be discontinued if you fail to do so. You should register with the State Workforce Development Division (WDD) by signing your resume up on the HireNet Hawaii portal within 7 days of filing a claim
  • You have to participate in Reemployment Services such as RESEA or if you are referred to any orientation or placement or assessment services
  • You should be searching actively for new employment by making 3+ job search contacts per week. Maintain a record of these efforts on Form UC-253
  • You must not fail to respond to the UI department or WDD if it schedules an interview for you. The same goes for any fact-finding telephone messages left for you
  • Your earnings reports should be accurate

Find out on job search requirements

How To Apply For UI Benefits In Hawaii

You have to submit the following documents to qualify for unemployment benefits in Hawaii:

You can apply for benefits in Hawaii by two methods- apply online or by placing a phone call.


This is the most convenient way for you to file UI claims. If you do not have access to personal computers, you can use the computer kiosks at your local UI claims office. There are aids available for people with disabilities.

You can visit and select the ‘Login as a Claimant’ option. As a first-time claimant, you need to make a new personal account

The same website can be accessed if you want to reactivate a previous UI claim that has not expired. 

The website accepts claim filings only from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (HST) on Monday to Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (HST) on weekends and holidays

Remember to print the confirmation page you are shown at the end and all the forms you need to submit.

When you file an initial UI claim, the first week after filing is a waiting week. The claim does not become effective from when you become unemployed, but from when you file it.


You can also file claims via telephone. The Hawaii Tele Claim is a voice response system that is computer-based and easy to use. To file a new claim, added claim, or reopen a claim call 643-5555 from anywhere in the state. If you do not live in the state call the toll-free number 1-877-215-5793.

You can call anywhere between Sunday to Thursday from 6:30 a.m to 12 at midnight. On Friday you can call anywhere between 6:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. if by any chance Friday is a holiday then Thursdays timings will be applicable between 6:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m.   


How To File Weekly Claims

You can file your weekly benefits or bi-weekly claim online at If you do not have access to a valid working internet connection, you can visit their local claims office and avail the facility of the computer kiosks. You can also visit public libraries and request to use computers with a working internet connection to gain access to file for UI claims.

Weekly claims must be filed inside seven days of the end of the certification period. If claims fail to do so weekly benefits may be denied for late filing.


Learn how to claim weekly benefits

UI Benefit Amount

Benefits Calculator

Use our UI Benefit Calculator to know how much weekly benefits you may generally earn in the State of Hawaii

Unemployment Benefits Calculator
Select Number of Dependents:
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Unemployment Benefits Calculator
State: Hawaii
Number of Dependents: 0

How much did you earn in each of these quarters?

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$ 25,000
$ 0
$ 25,000
$ 0
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Calculating your Benefits Amount ...
Disclaimer: The estimates are good in faith and accuracy is not guaranteed. We are not liable for any loss and damages caused by using the tools on our website. This calculator is here to assist you in evaluating what you might obtain if you are entitled to receive benefits. We make no promises that the sum you receive will be equal to what the calculator illustrates.

Know more about the Benefits Calculator

Things To Know After Filing An Application

Once you file the application to receive weekly benefit amounts. You must understand particular rules and regulations associated with Hawaii Unemployment Insurance. Following these rules and regulations is vital throughout the benefit period. If you fail to follow the set rules and regulations they may be disqualified.   

Overpayments And Fraud

Overpayments take place when UI benefits are paid to claimants which are later on determined to be ineligible to receive UI benefits. Overpayments may occur in the state of Hawaii for the following reasons:

  • You failed to reveal that he/she received earnings accurately while filing for UI benefits 
  • Weekly UI benefit changes due to incorrect wage information provided by you when the claim was filed 
  • A mistake from the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations in Hawaii may result in overpayments

Fraud: A fraud occurs if you do not share certain information or present any false documents to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations in the state. Wrong information about your job status or willingly collecting unemployment benefits based on false information provided by you when filing or receiving benefits constitutes fraud. 

In the state of Hawaii, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations classifies fraud as several types which are as follows:

  • You are receiving UI benefits but not reporting that they are working and being paid a certain salary
  • You are accepting UI benefits but not looking for employment or lying about work search updates
  • You are filing for UI benefits using another person’s name or identity  
  • You are filing for UI benefits who receive a job offer and decline the offer
  • You accepted a job offer but didn’t report it to the Department 

Upon committing fraud, you may face several serious penalties, including:

  • Returning UI benefits, plus penalties
  • Jail orders
  • Blockage of prospective wages
  • Prosecution
  • Won’t receive UI benefits in the near future

If you are are found committing fraud, depending on the enormity of the offense applicants may be subject to criminal prosecution. If you are convicted he/she can be fined or put in prison for a period of five years or both.

Benefits Extension

Currently, there are no benefits extensions available programs in the state of Hawaii. Unemployment benefit extension programs are only available in periods of high unemployment. It is recommended that applicants call or visit the concerned authorities to get a better idea assistance plans for reemployment

Job Training Assistance

The state department of Labor and Industrial Relations provides several opportunities for job seekers. Listed below are some of the services provided by the department to help job seekers meet potential employers and so:

One-Stop-Centers – Present a range of services to potential job-seekers and employers. The services include job search support and help, occupational planning services, and a bunch of training opportunities.

HireNet Hawaii – Provides a range of employment tools to job seekers, such as resume building training and improving on your current skill set.

Job Fairs – Help applicants connect with potential employers, and understand what employers are looking for in candidates. This also is a great time for potential candidates to secure a job.

Volunteer Internship Program- Offers job seekers who are receiving unemployment insurance benefits to gain steady workforce training. 

One-stop centers are committed to providing free and efficient services to jobseekers. Click here to locate a center near.

Know more job training opportunities in HI

Hawaii Office Locations and Phone Numbers

Find all the required phone numbers you may need if you have doubts on any relevant issues during the benefits weeks

Oahu Claims Office (808) 586-8970
Hilo Claims Office (808) 974-4086
Kona Claims Office (808) 322-4828
Maui Claims Office 8089848400
Kauai Claims Office (808) 274-3043
Workforce Development Council (808) 586-8630
Labor Market Information (808) 587-5668
Career Information (808) 587-5515
American Job Center- O’ahu 768-5700
American Job Center- Maui 984-2091
American Job Center Hawaii 935-6527
American Job Center- Kaua’i 274-3056

Locate your nearest unemployment office

Frequently Asked Question

Q. Is there a tax incurred on unemployment benefits?
Yes, a tax is incurred on unemployment benefits. Claimants have the option to withhold 10% for federal taxes and 5% for state taxes in Hawaii from applicants UI benefits. For claimants to request a stoppage of Federal or State Taxes, visit Claimants need to log in to their account and under the option of my account click the Tax Withholding account and follow the prompts.

Form 1099-G is sent in January showing claimants total benefits paid. The form also states federal income taxes can be kept under hold in the previous calendar year. Always make sure to keep the receipts of your payment of tax returns.
Q. Are ex-military individuals and federal civilians eligible to qualify for UI benefits?
Applicants who worked in the military in the last eighteen months are eligible to qualify for unemployment benefits. Claimants need to present their member 4 DD-214 to their respective claims office. Ex-military persons can file their claim in any state no matter where they were stationed in the military. Though you must keep in mind that you must be present in that particular state when filing claims.
If you wish to file claims in the state of Hawaii you must be present in Hawaii at the time you file your initial claim. Once this step is complete, you can move to another state and continue to file Ui for your Hawaii claim. If claimants worked in the federal government in the past eighteen months they are eligible for UI benefits provided they have the Standard Form 8, Standard Form 50 or pay the necessary stubs if available.
Q. What does an interstate claim mean?
If a claimant shifts base to another state: the Virgin Islands, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands or Canada you can receive benefits from Hawaii provided applicants to meet Hawaii’s eligibility requirement.
Applicants can file a claim against Hawaii even when they reside in another state. The state where claimants file claims is called the “agent state” because the state is an agent to help you file your claim as soon as possible. If you need any questions answered you may contact the following:
Hawaii Liable Interstate Unit 830 Punchbowl Street, Room 110 Honolulu, HI 96813 Phone (808) 586-8970 Fax: (808) 586-8980 Email: [email protected]
Q. How does a claimant sign up for a Direct Deposit ?
For claimants to sign up for a direct deposit, claimants must have an online UI account. You can create a new account by visiting and filling up the application online. Always make sure the financial institution routing number and account number are correct.
It’s highly suggested you use the bank routing number and correct account information on your personal check. You also have the option to have your benefits deposited into your savings account. All you need to do is provide your direct deposit information which should be submitted once per claim.
Q. Can claimants receive UI benefits being partially employed
Yes claimants can receive UI benefits being partially unemployed. Claimants in the state of Hawaii are allowed to earn $150 and receive unemployment benefits. If claimants are associated with a regular employer and not working, or working less hours than your weekly benefit amount. Claimants are eligible to qualify for difference between the earnings of over $150 and your weekly benefit amount.
For e.g If a claimant earns $200 a week and your weekly benefit amount is $300, you are still entitled to receive $250. If by any chance you're weekly, what you earn in a week exceeds your weekly benefit amount. You will not receive benefits.
Q. What happens if an applicant is denied unemployment insurance?
Q. What happens if an applicant is denied unemployment insurance? If a notice is sent to you stating that you are denied UI benefits, you have the option to request for reconsideration or file an appeal. Applicants can mail their reconsiderations and appeals to any of your local claims office. To file an appeal you can send a mail directly to the Employment Security Appeals Referee Office or you could also apply online at
Applicants must write the request in writing, on the form provided by the department or by letter. Your request must be filed within 10 calendar days immediately after the notice date was mailed to you. For a complete list of offices in your locale click here.
Q. Who is eligible to obtain Workers Compensation Benefits?
Full- time workers & part-time workers who suffer from any disease or injury which has taken place due to work, or working conditions. If you fall under this category you are eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
Q. What type of medical benefits will Workers Compensation pay for?
If your workers' compensation claim is accepted by authorities you will receive payment for the following:
  • Treatment of injury
  • Prescription drugs as advised by the doctor
  • X- rays
  • Transport Charges
  • Therapy advised by your doctor
  • Transportation cost

Questions & Answers

  1. My position was terminated and my last day was April 30, 2021. Am I still eligible to collect UE 3 months after being terminated? Is there a cutoff point in which I would no longer be able to apply for UE after being laid off ? I am currently receiving severance pay which ends in December and deciding if I should wait until December to apply for UE. Also, how many months would I be eligible for UE?

    Thank you.

  2. I am a musician in Hawaii. My primary employer is the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. Due to COVID, we’ve had our work cut. I applied for unemployment benefits and have over $10,000 allocated to me that expire in September.

    Unfortunately, I am blocked from receiving those benefits because I also teach part time. Less than 3% of my income comes from teaching, but 100% of my benefits are blocked during the summer with the line: “Pending Decision Due to Wages from Educational Institution.”

    Can you please help me?

    • Anna,

      It looks like there’s a pending inquiry. Please see if you can speak to a rep from the Unemployment Office to sort this out.

  3. I am now required to job search. I have been getting unemployment. An employer offered me a part time position. Do I need to take it because I am not allowed to refuse an offer for work. Will I still be able to collect unemployment if the compensation is under my weekly benefit. I live in Hawaii.

  4. If i am receiving UI, if i get a part time job that pays less than the weekly amount, will i stop receiving UI benefits?

  5. Can someone on Hawaii UI benefits travel to another state to apply and interview for a potential job and still collect unemployment?
    If hired for the job but has to go through a 2-month no pay training, san that person still collect UI benefits during that period?

  6. I am currently living in Hawaii and collecting unemployment insurance. I’ve lived and worked in Hawaii for over 30 years and will be moving to Oregon in May. Can I still collect unemployment insurance and should I claim in Hawaii or Oregon? Does moving to another state affect my Unemployment Insurance benefits at all? I will be continuing to look for work in Oregon. Thank you.

    • Mayumi,

      You can ‘transfer’ the benefits to Oregon. Please visit the UI website of Oregon to learn more.

  7. What should I do next after my benefit year end If I still need UI.

    April 18 2021 will be end.

    Should I file Initial claim?

    Please advise.

  8. I been waiting for like three weeks for my claim all it’s saying is waiting on monetary decision so wen will say b cause I’m still unemployed because of covid 19

  9. I am currently collecting unemployment benefits in the state of California. My intention is to relocate to Hawaii. What is the protocol for interstate transfer of my claim from California to Hawaii?

  10. We are a military family and are scheduled to PCS within the next few months and ive heard as a military spouse we are eligible for unemployment but my question is If so, what is the process prior to giving up my job? At what length am I allowed to resign prior to moving? Or should I wait until the very last day till the move? Thank you.

    • Ashley,

      As a military spouse, you will be eligible to claim UI benefits after you resign and move. Please consider applying once you’re totally unemployed.

  11. I have been waiting to obtain my unemployment checks and have not received any checks at this time. I have been in contact with a claims examiner who contacted my previous employer and “grilled me” for 30 min asking questions and requesting emails between myself and former employer. I sent them to her in hopes of expediting my claim and to release my unemployment check, but still no check. I keep leaving voice messages on her phone, but have not received any return calls. Who can I go to, to help expedite my claim and receive my unemployment benefit checks. This has been going on for over a month.

    • Lauren,

      I can understand the reason for anxiety. If you’re unable to reach the examiner, please call the Claims Center on their toll-free number and lookout for relevant options on the IVR.

  12. I have a boss who is constantly talking down to me and degrading me. In my eyes, she is Abusive in the way she treats me. Am I able to quit my job and collect unemployment

    • Rose,

      Before you quit, please gather supporting documents and make sure to consult the Unemployment Office in your state. Voluntary resignation might go against you.

  13. I was removed from my supervisory position and my company can only offer a lower position and significantly reduce my income. If I don’t accept the offer, I will be terminated. Will I be eligible for Unemployment? If eligible, can I work as Uber driver on a part time basis to increase my income close to what I was making as a supervisor? Thank you.

    • I am guessing you should be eligible.

      Please make sure to clarify with the Unemployment Office before making a decision.

  14. I was let go on Friday sept 22, 2017 I called in sick on thur and Friday.I called my boss on Friday if I need a note from my doctor but she said no , and that’s when she said she was letting me go. there was too much complaing from the people I worked with. although I thought things were fine I know I did the best I could . She did cut my hours quite a bit and I would have left evidently

    • Susan,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  15. My employer let me go buy a involuntary termination however they sent me emails saying I am laid off laugh terminated and it would help me with my unemployment no problem I have proof of this so will I still get my benefits

    • Kand,

      If the employer has said there would be no issues, please consider applying for UI benefits until you find another job.

  16. I’m a spouse of an active duty service member and had to quit my job to move for a PCS (Permanent Change of Station). How long can I wait to file for UI benefits after quitting my job?

    • You should be able to apply immediately without a waiting period.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state since it differs from one state to another.

  17. My employer has given me a verbal notice that they are letting me go at the end of the month due to lack of sales production. Would I qualify for any type of unemployment?

  18. i lost my job because the company I am working for shut their door completely on March 17,2027.i am retired and receiving SSec. Am I eligible to file uneloyment?

    • You can be eligible to draw UI benefits along with SS benefits.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

  19. We relocated to Hawaii for my husband’s job. I had to quit my job and have been actively looking for 7 months and been on multiple interviews. Would I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  20. My husband has a full time and a part time job. His full time job maybe laying people off, if he gets laid off will he still be eligible for unemployment?

  21. I live in NYC and have collecting unemployment. I am moving to Hawaii next month. My question is, when I move there, can I still collect Unemployment? if I can, will I have to apply with Hawaii or continue to claim with New York?

  22. My wife just got replaced with a qualified DOE employee, for her long term substituting teaching position that she has been teaching in at a local high school for the last 6 months. She was given two days notice (Friday told-last day Tuesday). Will she be eligible for unemployment compensation?

  23. I’m retired and collecting SSec. I plan to go back to work part time 25 hrs a week if I get laid off can I collect unemplyment benifits????even if I’m collecting SS…..

    • Depends. Some states allow provision of both while some don’t.

      Please inquire further wit the labor authorities in your state and apply accordingly.

  24. I have been working for 2 yr for my employer and am being asked to work in another location that is too far for everyday drive…can I get unemployment?

  25. I am in the military and about to get out. I am leaving out of the state and leave with my spouse in another states. Can i stiil file here and get the benefits?

    • Please call the labor dept in your state.They generally have exclusive provisions for service men.

  26. I just got verbally terminated by the Company management and there were no separation letter given to me. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits.

    • Please ask for written document.

      You may be asked to produce relevant paperwork when you apply for UI benefits.

  27. My husband is currently in the military, active duty. We will be moving back to Oregon (Spouse’s home state of record) after his four year contract completes, January 2014. I have a full time occupation (18+ months) in Hawaii. Due to us relocating to Oregon would I qualify for unemployment benefits? If so, what is the process prior to giving up my job? At what length am I allowed to resign prior to moving? Or should I wait until the very last day till the move? Thank you.

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