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OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR — News Release — Governor Ige announces availability of Disaster Unemployment Insurance for Hawaii County residents

Posted on Jun 22, 2018 in Latest Department News, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU — The U.S. Department of Labor has given the State of Hawai‘i  permission to offer Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) in Hawai‘i County as part of the joint state-federal response to the ongoing seismic activity and volcanic eruption on Hawai‘i Island.


Those who may be eligible for DUA benefits are individuals who were living or working in the affected area at the time of the major disaster and unemployed as a direct result of the major disaster. Eligible individuals must also NOT qualify for regular unemployment insurance.


The DUA benefits begin the week of May 6, 2018 and expire the week ending November 10, 2018.


Individuals may qualify for DUA benefits if they remain unemployed because of the disaster. Regular unemployment insurance and DUA benefits cannot be paid concurrently.


“I encourage all individuals who believe they may qualify to apply as soon as possible as the deadline for filing for Disaster Unemployment Assistance is July 23, 2018. Eligibility is broader for this kind of assistance compared to regular unemployment insurance benefits,” said Gov. Ige.


Eligibility for DUA includes the following circumstances:

  • individuals who are prevented from reaching their job or self-employment location due to the disaster,
  • individuals who were to start employment or self-employment but were prevented from doing so because of the disaster,
  • individuals who became the major support of a household because of the death of the head of household due to the disaster, and
  • individuals who cannot perform services in employment or self-employment due to an injury caused as a direct result of the disaster.


Unemployment is a direct result of the major disaster if there is:

  1. physical damage or destruction to the place of employment,
  2. physical inaccessibility to the place of employment due to a government closure in immediate response to the disaster; or
  3. lack of work or loss of revenues to the employer or self-employed business caused indirectly by a major revenue generating entity that was damaged or destroyed in the disaster, or located in the disaster area closed by the government.


“Applications for DUA require an in-person visit to the Unemployment Insurance office,” said Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Leonard Hoshijo. “Applicants should have their social security number, a copy of their most recent federal income tax returns and check stubs or other documentation to show proof of working or self-employment.”


Documentation for the self-employed can be obtained from banks or government entities or affidavits from individuals having knowledge of their businesses.


For more detailed information regarding eligibility for DUA benefits please visit:


The notice of Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Benefits available is posted at:


You may also visit the Hilo Claims Office, Kinoole Plaza, 1990 Kinoole Street, Suite 101, Hilo, HI  96720 or by phone at 974-4086.


Workers unemployed due to the disaster may apply for regular unemployment insurance benefits by filing online at


Equal Opportunity Employer/Program

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

TDD/TTY Dial 711 then ask for (808) 586-8866


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Media Contacts:

Bill Kunstman

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

(808) 586-8845

[email protected]


Jodi Leong

Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0043

Mobile: 808-798-3929

[email protected]


Cindy McMillan

Communications Director

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0012

Mobile: 808-265-7974

[email protected]