Federal workers begin filing for unemployment benefitsUPDATED 8:28 PM HST Oct 04, 2013Video Transcript
meet next week. The deluge has begun at the state labor department-- as workers begin the process of filing for unemployment benefits. KITV4's Catherine Cruz has more on what you need to know if you are thinking about heading down next week to stand in line. In the last three days 1500 federal workers have tried to file for claims-- thats on top of the 2 thosuand in an average week. So you can imagine how frustrating it is for those standing in line, and those working behind the counter. Earl Winders wasnt sure if he would ever get called. After waiting for four hours, the office was still on number 14--and he was 125. He blamed congress for putting him through this ordeal. - Earl Winders17 :28 -17: 3 "I cant believe the govt is doing this to the people who have given their whole lives to govt service and we are the ones hurting for it," If misery loves company Winders had plenty of it. After 35 years of govt service he was having a hard time believing what's just happened. Earl Winders17:06- 17: 1 "It's the first time I have every had to do unemployment in my whole career. It's hard it takes a lot of out you, Personal pride goes way down," - UPPER 23:36 - :Here at the downtown office people have been lining up at 530 in the morning when the office doesnt open until 7:45." All 8 of the labor offices across the islands are feeling the pain. But it's the Waipahu office-- closest to the Pearl Harbor shipyard that is being overwhelmed with the calls and the lines. - Linda Uesato administrator 9:21- 9:3 -"We are advising claimants to file online. that is the most efficient way to do it and if they have any kind information from their employer, whether its a notice of furlow or some kind of wage statement," With so many people are filing, you might wonder if the unemployment well will run dry? - Dwight Yoshimura 1:22- 1:3 7 "GIve the shutdown situation because benefits are so essential arrangements have been made so benefits will be provided." That said, labor officials are still taking a very deep breath trying to deal with a very tough situation. - Dwight 5:57- 6:05 "Over 85 percent of our departmental federal budget is federal dollars so we are very concerned with the situation." If you plan to file --here's a big tip. You can do so online till 11pm--even on weekends. Consider this the labor dept now believes close to 35,000 Hawaii workers may have been put on the sidelines as a result of the shutdown. So the numbers of claims could be HUGE-- if this drags on. But here's another thing to consider, if the federal govt DOES provide retro-active pay for its workers those employees will be bound to REPAY those unemployment checks. And it will be the state that will have to do the collecting.