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Saturday, July 25, 2020
DLIR: Fraudsters got $35.98M from Hawaii Unemployment
By News Release @ 3:45 AM :: 822 Views :: Hawaii State Government, Labor, Small Business, COVID-19

STATE RELEASES UPDATED UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE INFORMATION

State Has Issued $2.3 Billion in Benefits Since March 1

News Release from DLIR, July 23, 2020

HONOLULU — The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced updated unemployment insurance claims information, including paying $2,349,952,775 and 2,117,125 weeks claimed since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic on March 1, 2020.

“Ninety-two percent (92%) of the valid unemployment insurance claims that have come in since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic have been processed and paid out by the DLIR. Currently our biggest challenge is the staff and resources required to address the high level of imposter and regular fraud in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program,” said Deputy Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio.

  • No. of claims filed statewide:       258,847
  • No. of invalid claims filed statewide:       -86,626
  • No. of valid claims awaiting claimant to verify:       -9,676
  • No. of valid claims requiring DLIR action       172,221
  • No. of claims paid:       158,356
  • No. of claims requiring DLIR action 7/22/20       13,865

“Congress appears poised to pass another economic stimulus package that includes an extension of additional unemployment insurance benefits,” noted Deputy Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio. “However, at this time the week ending July 25th, will be the last payable week of $600 payments to claimants. If anyone is still waiting on payments for any claims made from April 4 through July 25, you will be made whole and you will receive those benefits provided you are otherwise qualified.”

The Department’s operations continue to evolve including the following common issues:

  • Persons working full-time and therefore ineligible for benefits but filing for the loss of part-time work,
  • Incorrect deposit information supplied by claimants,
  • No weekly certifications filed by claimants,
  • Claim backdate issues,
  • Separation from work that requires investigation,
  • Not allowing location information while filing certifications,
  • Claimants that have filed multiple claims, and
  • Failure to create a username and password in the claimant online portal.

Initial Claims Chart

As reported across the nation, fraudsters are targeting state unemployment insurance systems during the COVID-19 pandemic through various schemes and identity theft. Bad actors are using stolen personal information from sources outside of the department, such as from massive external data breaches like the Equifax breach, to apply for benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and attempt to route payments to their own bank accounts.

Through July 14, the department has issued $35,980,789 to imposter fraud claimants and prevented $125,347,758 of potential benefits being stopped. 93,994 PUA applications have been received and $466,552,749 in benefits has been paid. The vast majority of the 44,298 denied PUA claims were denied for either identity verification issues or due to potential or eligibility for regular unemployment insurance benefits.

If you received a letter regarding a claim for PUA and you did NOT apply for benefits, please follow the instructions on the letter to report potential identity theft at pua.hawaii.gov. The DLIR is not able to detect how or when your identity was stolen and cannot prevent it from being used elsewhere. If you suspect that you have been a victim of identity theft, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov. You may also check to see if your email has been breached by visiting https://haveibeenpwned.com. The online ticketing system for PUA assistance has been moved to: http://lbr.force.com/PUASupport/s/contact.

For more information about identity theft and PUA benefits please visit https://labor.hawaii.gov/pua-fraud-faqs/.

For more information about unemployment insurance and other labor issues please visit: https://labor.hawaii.gov/covid-19-labor-faqs/.

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