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State to receive $10.2M in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds

MEDIA RELEASE

Hawaii’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Division will receive nearly $10.2 million in modernization incentive funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). 

The announcement was made Friday, May 22 by Darwin Ching, director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

States can qualify for a share of the $7 billion in UI modernization incentive payments by showing that its laws include certain provisions that broaden eligibility for benefits.

Hawaii’s UI program already contains a key provision that uses recent wages when determining eligibility for benefits. The existing alternative base period law positioned Hawaii to quickly receive the award of this money. 

The incentive fund does not change the level of benefits an individual may already receive; only the base period to qualify changed. This affords unemployed individuals who recently joined Hawaii’s workforce with an opportunity to qualify for UI assistance.  

The department can use these monies to pay for benefits, replenish its trust fund, or, if appropriated by the Legislature to administer its UI program or provide employment services.  

“These additional funds enable us to assist the unemployed and their families during these difficult economic times. It will help provide some financial security as they seek new employment opportunities,” said Ching.

— Find out more:

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations: hawaii.gov/labor

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