The federal pandemic relief bill signed into law by President Trump provides extra financial benefits for Hawaii residents filing for unemployment insurance.
The CARES Act Unemployment Extension increases payments and extends the length of time unemployment benefits can be paid out.
Most notably, anyone who qualifies for unemployment will receive an extra $300 dollars per week, on top of the normal state payment based on a filer’s previous income.
The program that provides unemployment coverage to gig workers and independent contractors, known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, has also been extended into 2021.
The new law also authorizes an additional 11 weeks of benefits for anyone claiming unemployment under the various pandemic-related programs.
The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said in a press release that it was awaiting official rules for the new programs from federal labor officials before releasing supplemented payments. DLIR does not expected that to happen until January.
In most cases the expanded benefits will expire in March, meaning Congress will have to decide whether or not to approve another relief package before the end of the first quarter of 2021.
President-Elect Joe Biden has called the measure a “down payment” and says he plans to ask Congress to approve additional fiscal relief in 2021.