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Hawaii Unemployment Benefit Questions

What is an interstate claim?

If you move to another state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands or Canada either before or after you file a claim against Hawaii, you can still file for unemployment insurance benefits against Hawaii. You can file a new claim or transfer an existing claim online or by telephone. Go to if you were employed only in Hawaii. To file by phone, call Hawaii Tele-Claim at 1-877-215-5793. The call you make is toll-free.

Once your interstate claim against Hawaii is established, the state you are filing from becomes your agent state. You must register for work in your agent state as instructed. Since Hawaii remains liable for the payment of benefits, Hawaii will be your liable state and will make all determinations and mail your unemployment checks directly to you.

For additional information about interstate claims, review the Handbook for Unemployment Benefits under the section titled Liable Interstate Benefits.

Are Unemployment Benefits Taxable?

Any unemployment insurance benefits you receive are taxable income. You can voluntarily elect to have federal and state taxes withheld from your unemployment benefits.

Form 1099-G will be issued to you at the end of January showing the amount of benefits paid to you during the tax year. Be sure that your local claims office has your current mailing address.

The 1099-G is not reduced by any repayments you may have made for overpaid benefits. Therefore, if you repaid any benefits, you must maintain your record of payments, such as receipts, cancelled checks, and billing statement to make adjustments to your taxable income and as documentation for the federal Internal Revenue Service and the State Tax office when you file your tax returns. Contact your local claims office if you did not keep receipts and need assistance in furnishing documentation for tax purposes.

When does my claim start?

Your claim begins from the Sunday of the week in which you apply. If you delay and do not apply immediately, you will not receive credit for past weeks. Your claim will start only from the week in which you file.

Who pays for unemployment?

In Hawaii, employers pay all the costs of unemployment insurance through a payroll tax or reimbursable basis. Employees do not pay any part of their wages to finance the program.

  1. all my employers are in the state of Hawaii I just recently moved Las Vegas Nevada in October 15th 2019. Got in touch with Vegas unemployment which day had told me I need to file with Hawaii. I couldn’t talk to B1 so I filed for Hawaii’s unemployment the next thing it told me is interstate??? How does this work I don’t get it why do I have to go and ask my employee that I haven’t been with for almost 6 months to pay me out isn’t there an alternative base pay. Does Hawaii go by that

  2. If an employee turned into an independent contractor with the company due to company hardship and took a pay cut just to be able to still have an income can they still file for unemployment to compensate loss wages?

    • JS,

      A claimant is generally eligible in case of a cut in the hours but not sure if this holds good for a pay cut. Please contact the Unemployment Office.

  3. Our company has been closed due to technical issues. It has been closed for 1 week so far and will be closed for another week. Can we claim unemployment?

  4. If you have to quit your job to move to another state to care for a family member are you eligible for unemployment

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



    • 1099 will be available for a download from the official website of the Unemployment Office.

      With regard to the second question, it depends on the prevailing tax rules in your state. Please speak to the Unemployment Office.

  6. received 7,000.00 Hawaii unemployment in 2015.
    Military, back from deployment end of 2014.
    Tennessee is Military home of record so Hawaii non resident.
    traveled continental United States most much of 2015
    is the unemployment taxable in Hawaii?

  7. my phone number has changed who do i contact to change? its or email me please contact me when you can. I’m also inquiring about my claim for my employer who i have parted from is giving false statements towards me to not pay my benefits for i am filing complaints to that business mahalo

    • This is not the unemployment office – it is a public website – please do not include personal information in any posts. Have you filed a claim? Did you state your side of the story? If you are denied benefits – read the appeal instructions closely and be sure to file an appeal on time.

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