FAQ: COVID-19 Benefits in Hawaii
Hawaii has taken important steps to make sure we’re protected in this time of crisis. Governor Ige waived the 7-day waiting period for the state’s unemployment program, and suspended the requirement for recipients to search for three jobs weekly. We recommend that you submit your applications as soon as possible. Be familiar with your employer-provided benefits and any temporary benefits extended by your employer. Talk to your Shop Steward or Union Representative if you need help or have questions.
- Can I apply for HI Family Leave?
- Can I apply for HI Family Leave because my child’s school is closed or childcare provider is unavailable because of COVID-19?
- Can I apply for HI Unemployment Insurance?
- Can I apply for temporary disability insurance?
- Can I apply for workers’ compensation?
- Can I extend the deadline to file my Hawaii tax returns?
- Can I receive a stimulus payment?
- Can I be evicted for not paying rent?
Can I apply for HI Family Leave?
YES. If you need to care for a family member who is ill or quarantined because of COVID-19, you may be eligible to take family leave under the Hawaii Family Leave Law. You must work for an employer with 100 or more employees for at least 6 consecutive months before qualifying to request family leave. Family members can include care for a parent, child, sibling, spouse or reciprocal beneficiary. Family leave is unpaid, but sick or vacation leave may be used to receive compensation. You can take family leave for up to four weeks. To request family leave, please contact your employer.
Can I apply for HI Family Leave because my child’s school is closed or childcare provider is unavailable because of COVID-19?
If you request paid family leave because your child’s school is closed or childcare provider is unavailable, your request may be denied because healthcare providers are exempted from emergency family leave (under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act). If you decide to leave your job (that is, terminate your employment) because of childcare concerns, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance under the CARES Act. Talk to your steward or union representative if you are facing this situation.
Can I apply for HI Unemployment Insurance?
YES. If your employer closed permanently or temporarily, your hours are cut, or you’re directed by your employer to remain home, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Visit huiclaims.hawaii.gov. The 7-day waiting period for UI claims related to COVID-19 has been waived. The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package extends jobless insurance by 13 weeks, and includes a four-month enhancement of benefits (an additional $600 per week). The program is broadened to include freelancers, furloughed employees, and gig workers.
Can I apply for temporary disability insurance?
MAYBE. If you’re unable to work due to being ill or need to be quarantined because of COVID-19, but your employer is still open, you may be eligible for temporary disability insurance. You must have a doctor’s note stating that you’re ill or quarantined because of COVID-19. Your COVID-19 illness cannot be work-related. See the following question on workers’ compensation insurance if you contracted COVID-19 at work. You’re not eligible if you’re currently receiving unemployment or workers’ comp. To apply for disability, contact your employer and ask for the contact information for their TDI carrier. Be aware that there is a 7-day waiting period. Note: your employer may provide you with 100% of your pay if you’re quarantined with COVID-19. Please check with your steward or union representative.
Can I apply for workers’ compensation?
MAYBE. If you contracted COVID-19 because of your job duties, you may be eligible for workers’ comp. To apply, contact your employer, inform them of your illness, and ask for the contact information for their workers’ comp carrier. Be aware that there is a 3-day waiting period.
Can I extend the deadline to file my Hawaii tax returns?
YES. All Hawaii taxpayers (individuals and businesses) can file and pay by July 20, 2020.
Can I receive a stimulus payment?
MAYBE. The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package offers payments to most adults of $1,200 and an additional $500 for every child under age 16. The amount depends on the income you reported to the IRS in 2019, or 2018 if you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes. Single adults who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less would get the full amount. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less would receive a total of $2,400. And taxpayers filing as head of household would get the full payment if they earned $112,500 or less. Single adults earning $99,000 or more won’t receive a stimulus payment; neither would married people with no children who earn $198,000. You can estimate your stimulus payment, based on your individual circumstances, here (calculator maintained by the Washington Post). The federal government says it will deliver payments in a matter of weeks.
Can I be evicted for not paying rent?
Governor Ige passed an executive order on April 17, 2020 which prevents any eviction from a residential dwelling for failure to pay rent. The order continues through till the end of April, but could be extended.