File and Collect Hawaii Unemployment

Finding yourself unemployed in this already difficult economic time can be financially and emotionally strenuous. If you do find yourself jobless, you can file for unemployment insurance in Hawaii.

To make a claim for unemployment insurance, you first have to determine your individual status or circumstances and type of claim you want to submit. The state of Hawaii offers a "Handbook on Unemployment Benefits" for detailed information on the process of filing a claim, you can visit http://hawaii.gov/labor/ui and file online, or file by phone by calling 643-5555 (within Hawaii) or 1-877-215-5793 (out of state) on Sunday, 9am-11pm; Monday-Thursday, 6am-11pm and Friday, 6am-4:30pm.

Filing your initial claim:

  1. Call Hawaii Tele-Claim at 643-5555 if you are in Hawaii (or 1-877-215-5793 from out of state) ruring your first week of unemployment, and answer the questions from their Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Stay on the line after you complete the automated section to speak to a Customer Service Representative (CSR), as you MUST speak to a CSR to complete your initial claim filing process. This part of the interview will take approximately 10–20 minutes, depending on the information needed for your claim.
  2. After you file a claim, you'll receive an informational packet with forms that you'll need to be complete and send back to the local claims office within the time period given. Within 7 days from the date you file your claim, you must also register for work. If you're a member of a labor union, you must take the “Verification of Registration for Work” form to your union for them to complete and them send the form back within the first week of your initial claim.

    You are required to post an online resume on HireNet Hawaii at www.hirenethawaii.com if you do not belong to a labor union. After you've posted your resume, call the local WDD office to receive instructions on completing the “Verification of Registration for Work” form. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in a denial of your claim.

    The informational packet will contain a “Reminder Claim Certification” which informs you of the week that you should file for benefits and the time period in which you should file for a specific week.
  3. To start filing your weekly and biweekly claim certifications, you must call Hawaii Tele-Claim at 643-2222 or 1-877-215-5791 (out of state) during the filing period as shown on the “Reminder Claim Certification.”

    For every time you file a claim, you'll get a new “Reminder Claim Certification” in the following days which tells you when you should file during the next weekly or bi-weekly period. All claimants have to make a minimum of three weekly job contacts and keep an account of all contacts on the UC-253 form, “Record of Contacts Made for Work.”
  4. You will receive an “Unemployment Insurance Determination of Insured Status” form approximately a week after filing your initial claim that will inform you if you earned adequate wages to qualify. If you have not made sufficient wages to qualify, the reason will be shown on the determination. If you disagree with the decision, you can file an appeal or request reconsideration.

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