Within the past week, more than $68 million in unemployment insurance assistance has been distributed to Hawaii residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Friday.

Between April 17-23, eligible applicants received a total of $68,097,470, including federally funded $600-a-week bonuses. That is more than six times what the state paid in benefits in the second week of April, which was already double what the state paid the same time last year. 

About 66% of the $68 million was covered by funding designated for Hawaii from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which went into effect March 27.

The federal boost included $600-a-week bonuses.

DLIR Director Scott Murakami said Friday it was a record amount to be distributed in Hawaii.

“We know that there are still many in our community who are suffering and with the help of our sister departments, the Legislature, private sector partners and non-profits, we are resolute in providing a greater level of relief as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.

In March, the state’s website glitched as it received a surge in applications.

To learn how to file a claim, visit http://labor.hawaii.gov/blog/main/covid-19-how-to-obtain-unemployment-ins-benefits/

There are three new email addresses to help people filing claims.

People who want to backdate their unemployment insurance claims should email dlir.ui.backdate@hawaii.gov. Anyone who has been disqualified from unemployment insurance and has questions can email dlir.ui.disqualified@hawaii.gov. And people who need interpreter services can email dlir.ui.languageassistance@hawaii.gov.

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