Hawaii Missed An Opportunity To Fix Its Benefits System Before COVID-19 Struck

May 10, 2020 | Honolulu Civil Beat

By Marcel Honore

"Nearly a decade ago, as Hawaii climbed out of the Great Recession, some state officials sought to create an IT system that would make it easier to apply for government benefits — including unemployment insurance — during tough times.

Specifically, they aimed to create an online portal, shared across multiple agencies, where locals who needed food and financial assistance, job training, child care and other programs could apply.

It would replace the bevy of disparate state applications that often make access to those programs daunting and cumbersome for residents. It might also come in handy the next time the Aloha State faced a crisis involving widespread unemployment.

That next crisis has arrived, but the portal never materialized."

Read the full article here.