Applying for Unemployment

If you need assistance applying for unemployment please use the form on our main website to ask.

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MLP Alert: Unemployment Insurance Benefits in Hawai‘i

FAQ Regarding Unemployment Insurance Benefits for COFA migrants in Hawai‘i

Are COFA migrants in Hawai‘i eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits?

YES! If you lost your job (or have reduced hours or been furloughed) or need to leave to care for someone with COVID-19 or care for your children during the COVID-19 school closures, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits and you should apply.

Where do I start if I’m a COFA migrant?

For COFA status residents in Hawai‘i, start here:

  1. Create an account (“Claimant Registration”) using an e-mail account.
  2. Log-in using “Claimant Login – Username.”
  3. Follow the screens to change your password, update your profile, add bank account information, and enter employer information.

For more information, view the “Apply for Benefits” video here:

Where do I start if I’m not a COFA migrant?

For U.S. citizens and non-citizens with A-numbers (Alien Registration Numbers), start here:

Can COFA migrants use this “new” form?

Yes, but… The “new” form allows you to enter an I-94 number, but you are not able to enter all 11 digits of your I-94 form. (The box is limited to 10 digits.) The Dept. of Labor says you may enter the first 9 or 10 digits of your I-94, but MLP recommends using the original application process to enter your complete I-94 number.

Note: MLP recommends only using forms that allow you to submit your complete immigration/legal status. Never misrepresent your status on official documents!

What information do I need to apply?

You will need the following information to apply:

  • E-mailaccount
  • Social Security #
  • Bank account info (Routing # and Account#)
  • Paystubs or Employment Info for the last 18 months
  • Passport # & I-94 # (or Alien Registration No. for lawful permanent residents andothers)

Do I need to look for work while I’m on Unemployment benefits?

No. The state has suspended “the requirement to search for three jobs weekly.”

You do need to certify every week that you are still unemployed (or underemployed).

Do I have to pay taxes on Unemployment benefits I receive?

Yes. According to the Hawai‘i website (

You may elect to withhold 10% for federal taxes and 5% for Hawaii state taxes from your UI benefits. To request withholdings of Federal and/or State taxes, go to: Login to your account and under “My Account” click on “Tax Withholdings” and follow the prompts.

How long does it take to apply and receive benefits?

The website is very busy, so be patient and keep trying! The state is doing its best to respond to the extremely high number of applications. You will need to check your e-mail to follow-up, and the phone numbers may also be very busy. The state should respond within two weeks, but benefits may take up to one month to receive.

How do I get an interpreter?

According to the state website, you must send an interpreter request by e-mail to:

Be sure to include your name, phone number, and language. Interpretation is free.

Where can I find more information?

Visit the Hawaii Unemployment Insurance websites at:ïPhone #’s are listed here)

Get more information about other work-related benefits (Temporary Disability Insurance, Workers’ Compensation, Hawaii Family Leave) at:

Calculate your approximate weekly benefits at:

(In addition to regular state benefits, the CARES Act provides extended time and additional federal benefits.)

See news coverage about Unemployment benefits for COFA migrants at:

Anita Hofschneider, Hawaii Updates Unemployment Application To Include Pacific Migrants

(Civil Beat, April 14, 2020):

Anita Hofschneider, Hawaii’s New Unemployment Application Excludes Micronesian Migrant Workers (Civil Beat, April 11, 2020):