Kokua Line: Will They Renew Federal Unemployment Benefit Again?


Question: I get along with PEUC and the Plus-Up. What if they expire? Will they be extended again?

Reply: They relate to Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, a federally funded program that pays people who have exhausted their standard state unemployment insurance benefits, and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, popularly known as Plus-Up, a federally funded program that has a weekly supplement $ 300 pays to applicants receiving UI, PEUC, or Pandemic Unemployment Benefits (a third federally funded program for the self-employed and others not eligible for UI or PEUC).

The last payable week for PEUC, FPUC and PUA in Hawaii is the week that ends September 4th, said Bill Kunstman, spokesman for the Hawaiian Department of Labor and Labor Relations. At this point, there is no evidence that Congress and the Biden administration intend to extend the benefits further, he said.

Individuals with pending claims resolved in favor of the applicant after that date would be paid for eligible weeks prior to the expiration date, he said. In general, applicants should not expect the programs to be extended again, as was the case earlier in the pandemic.

“We don’t have a crystal ball… but it doesn’t look like there will be an extension of the temporary federal programs beyond early September. … The working assumption is that there will be no renewal so the focus now is on getting people back to work, ”said Kunstman. “Hopefully we will continue our vaccination efforts in Hawaii and elsewhere to get out of this whole situation. … It would not be advisable to plan (federal unemployment) benefits after the beginning of September. Hopefully people intend to get back to work and the sooner they can do it the better. “

Currently, tens of thousands of people in Hawaii claim PEUC or PUA weekly, relying on federal funds that helped prop up the state’s economy during the pandemic.

Twenty states have already discontinued PEUC and PUA without objection from the federal government, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Q: Regarding the Honolulu Police Department’s expanded patrols for Chinatown that the Mayor recently announced, where will the staff for this be from? Are patrols diverted from other parts of the city? If yes, which? Or are the patrols manned by overtime or other means that do not reduce the police force elsewhere on the island?

A: “When checking with HPD, the new enforcement shifts in Chinatown are separated from the patrol shifts. The officers log on using a computer program that monitors overtime and prevents the officers from exceeding the limits set by the department. Officials who volunteer receive overtime pay, ”Tim Sakahara, a spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, said in an email.

Blangiardi announced increased enforcement on Tuesday and said in a press release that he was “appalled at the extent of the illegal activity in Chinatown.”

Federal government COVID-19 aid will help fund the effort, which is expected to continue through December and require 24-hour police surveillance of the area from River Street to Bishop Street between North Beretania and North King Streets.

Q: I got my COVID-19 vaccination as early as possible in January. Do I still need a booster?

A: Federal health authorities say no. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration issued a joint statement on Thursday on:

“The United States is fortunate to have powerful vaccines that are widely available to people 12 years and older. People who are fully vaccinated are protected from serious illness and death, including the variants currently circulating in the country like Delta. People who are not vaccinated remain at risk. Virtually all COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths are from those who are not vaccinated. We encourage Americans who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their community.

“Fully vaccinated Americans don’t need a booster right now. The FDA, CDC, and NIH are working on a science-based, rigorous process to see if or when a refresher might be needed. This process takes into account laboratory data, clinical trial data, and cohort data – which may include data from certain pharmaceutical companies, but are not solely reliant on that data. We will continue to review all new data as it becomes available and will keep the public informed. We are prepared for booster doses when science shows they are needed. “

NIH stands for the National Institutes of Health.

Federal agencies issued the statement after Pfizer and BioNTech, makers of a two-dose regimen, said their research showed that a third dose six months later significantly increased immunity in a study of participants.

The companies expected to submit their results to the FDA within weeks to apply for emergency approval for booster syringes.

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; Fax 529-4750; or send an email to [email protected]

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