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Hawaii Unemployment Eligibility

To establish a valid unemployment claim, you must meet the following qualifications.

Non-Monetary Eligibility

  • You must be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • You must participate in Reemployment Services
  • You must be registered for work within seven calendar days after applying for unemployment benefits by posting your resume online at
  • You must quit or get fired for “good cause” connected with work

Monetary Eligibility

  • You must have been paid wages in two or more calendar quarters of your base period and,
  • You must also have been paid wages totaling 26 times your weekly benefit amount in your base period.

Base Period: The standard base period is the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the effective date of your claim. The effective date of your claim is the Sunday of the week in which you first apply. If you do not qualify using the standard base period, an alternate based period can be used. The alternate base period is the last 4 completed calendar quarters.

Note: If you do not qualify using the standard base period, an alternate base period consisting of the last 4 completed quarters can be used instead.

If you worked in other states besides Hawaii (including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands) in the base period of your claim, you may be able to combine the wages to meet the necessary monetary qualifications or to increase your weekly benefit amount.

Eligibility Questions

What happens if I am fired?

In a discharge or suspension, the employer is the moving party and therefore has the burden of proof to show that your actions or omissions should be considered misconduct connected with your work. To be considered misconduct, there must be a deliberate violation or disregard of the duties, responsibilities, or standards of behavior that an employer has a right to expect from an employee, or carelessness or negligence of such seriousness or repetition as to show wrongful intent or evil design.

Disqualification is until you have been paid wages in covered employment of five times your weekly benefit amount after the week in which you separated from work.’

For a suspension, you will be disqualified from one to four weeks immediately following the week of suspension.

What if I am laid off?

Unemployment benefits are designed to help those who lost their jobs through reasons beyond their own control.

If you get laid off because the business can’t afford him, you are usually eligible for unemployment benefits. If you were laid off because you weren’t right for the job, then also you may be eligible to collect unemployment.

When you get laid-off, it is not your fault. Getting laid-off doesn’t mean that you were fired or you did something wrong. Once you get laid-off from your job, you should immediately apply for unemployment benefits.

Can I get unemployment benefits if I quit my job voluntarily?

A “voluntary quit” occurs when you initiate your job separation and, therefore, have the burden of proof to present sufficient facts to show good cause for leaving work. “Good cause” means that there is a real, substantial, or compelling reason, or a reason that would cause a reasonable and prudent worker, genuinely and sincerely desirous of maintaining employment, to take similar action. Such a worker is expected to try reasonable alternatives before terminating the employment relationship.

Disqualification is until you have been paid wages in covered employment of five times your weekly benefit amount after the week in which you separated from work.

Do federal civilian employees and ex-military personnel qualify for UI benefits?

Yes. If you worked for the federal government in the past 18 months, you should have your Standard Form 8, Standard Form 50 or pay stubs available.

If you were in the military in the past 18 months, you must present your Member 4 of the DD-214. For ex-military servicepersons, you can choose to file your unemployment claim against any state regardless of where you were stationed in the military. However, you must be in that state at the time of filing. If you want to file against Hawaii, you must be in Hawaii at the time you apply for the initial claim for benefits and thereafter, you can relocate to another state and continue to file for benefits on your Hawaii claim.

More Questions?? —-> Read Eligibility Q & A Section

Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>Calculate your benefits here

  1. Delta Airlines are offering voluntary leaves in lieu of furloughing other people. They said in a memo they won’t contest it. Does this qualify for UI in the state of HI?

    • Gia,

      Please note UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons.

    • Gordon,

      I suggest you call the Claims Center and speak to a representative for clarity and to understand if there’s anything you can do to appeal the determination.

  2. I was let go and the reason “unintentional Termination” Would this disqualify me for unemployment?

      • My 4 weeks was disqualified, how come?? then I got paid for 5 week..
        I was told to claim
        week 9/15-9/21
        Week 9/22-28
        Week 9/29-10/05
        On 10/09/19,
        Then I checked claim on 10/15/19 seen
        Week 10/06-10/12
        Then filed claim on 10/15/19,
        Realized after I believe I was suppose to file
        Filed week 10/13-10/19 and got paid but only for these last week..

      • Gordon,

        It depends on multiple factors. If you believe you have been denied on irrelevant grounds, make sure to present a strong case based on facts and supporting documents.

  3. 5 times your weekly benefit amount. That means if your benefit amount is the max , in Hawaii it is $619. When you earn 5 times that amount you requalify. If you make $45 an hour, you would have to work 9 days to requalify. 9x$360=$3240. You made more than the $3094 necessary.

  4. I was promised full time hours as a bartender at a restaurant and now i only work 2 days out of the week. Would i qualify for unemployment?

    • Meagan,

      If you’re on full-time rolls of the restaurant and if your employer pays Unemployment Taxes into the system, you can be eligible to claim partial UI benefits. Please check with your employer.

  5. my father in-law is has terminal cancer, brain tumors, due to pass-on in a few weeks,went to be by his side, help with needed care for him, passed away 12 days after i arrived,……
    Asked for time off from Employer and asked if i was required/should i file for F M L A,…..response was not nessassary ….. Can i file my claim for Unemployment Benefits for this time….Thank You

    • Belmar,

      I am sorry to hear about the loss. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to inquire about eligibility.

  6. I will be terminating my full time job due to job stress and unable to continue to work a 40hr work week. Do I qualify for unemployment?

    • Catherine,

      It depends on multiple factors which include your preparedness to prove a “hostile” work environment in case of a dispute from your employer.

  7. I have a 2-month-old baby to take care, I can’t go work since no one takes care of my baby. Am I qualify file for unemployment?

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

  8. I was recently let go from my job. I had asked to go back to school and still work full time, which was agreed upon on both sides. Then my boss tells me that I’m not doing the same amount of work and “let me go.” I am in Hawaii and want to know if I can file for unemployment.

  9. If a individual receive VERA/VSIP buyout from civilian service to retire early can they apply for unemployment here in Hawaii?

  10. My husband has accepted a job on Oahu. We live in Florida. I had to quit my job in order to move. Can I collect unemployment or partial unemployment?

    • If you voluntarily quit the job,you will not be immediately eligible for UI. Please make sufficient job searches and applications before filing.

  11. I just received a letter (3 days ago) from the UI office stating I am disqualified from benefits. And in the first paragraph its says:

    Disqualification is until you have been paid wages in covered employment of five times your weekly benefit amount after the week in which you separated from work.’

    Please help me to understand what that means – I am totally clueless!

    Does it mean (my interpretation) I would have to wait 5 weeks and then be considered for benefits or do I go straight
    to the reconsideration process or appeal this case?

    Your thoughtful and helpful response is greatly appreciated.

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