Hawaii Disability Benefits: 3 Monthly Pay Programs

Disability Benefits

Important: We updated this article in November 2023 to make sure all info below is both current and correct. If you become injured in Hawaii when you’re on the job, help is available in the form of workers’ comp payments. If you’re ill or have a non-work-related injury, you are still eligible to receive temporary Hawaii disability payments. And if you’re permanently disabled, two separate programs may pay you monthly disability. Keep reading to learn how these three benefit programs may help you achieve financial solvency.

How to Get Short-Term Hawaii Disability Benefits

Your first step in getting benefits for your short-term health issue is to learn more about your state’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program. The state designed TDI benefits to partially replace the wage loss due to your inability to work.

To qualify for Hawaii temporary disability insurance (TDI) benefits, you must have:

  1. Worked for a Hawaii employer providing TDI coverage at least 20 hours per week for at least 14 weeks before you apply. The 14 weeks does not have to be consecutive or with only one employer.
  2. Earned not less than $400 in the 52 weeks before your first day of disability.

There are a few additional factors that determine whether you qualify as well:

First, your injury or illness cannot be work related; meaning your disability didn’t arise from doing your jobSecond, your poor health must prevent you from performing your regular work duties. And third, your disability is certified by a licensed physician, surgeon, dentist, chiropractor, osteopath, naturopath, advanced practice registered nurse, or an accredited practitioner of a faith healing group. You must be under a medical provider’s care.

IMPORTANT: You need to file your TDI claim within 90 days after you become disabled. There is a waiting period for 7 days in a row before you can receive a payment. If you apply more than 26 weeks after your disability began, you cannot draw any state benefits.

How Do I File a Hawaii TDI Claim with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations?

If you’re unable to work and don’t already get workers’ comp benefits, then follow these steps:

  1. Notify your employer immediately.
  2. Ask for Form TDI-45, Claim for TDI Benefits, from your employer or contact Hawaii TDI.
  3. Complete Part A, Claimant’s Statement.
  4. Take the form to your physician to certify you’re disabled on Part C, Doctor’s Statement.
  5. Have your employer complete Part B, Employer’s Statement.
  6. Mail the form to your employer’s TDI insurance provider unless your employer is self-insured. Your employer or the insurance carrier will then notify you of approval or denial.

Do I Qualify for Hawaii Temporary Disability Insurance Payments?

To quality for temporary Hawaii disability payments, you must be in current employment in the State of Hawaii. This means that you were employed immediately before the date you became disabled. Or, your disability occurred within two weeks from your last day of work.

Your employer must provide TDI coverage to all eligible employees, with a few exceptions. If you had more than one job at the time you became disabled, you may qualify for TDI benefits from multiple employers. Some employees are exempt and cannot apply for TDI payments. These workers without automatic TDI coverage include:

  • Employees of the federal government
  • Certain domestic workers
  • Insurance agents and real estate sales people paid solely on a commission basis
  • Individuals younger than 18 years working in newspaper delivery or distribution jobs
  • Certain family employees
  • Student nurses
  • Interns

You are also not eligible for benefits if you:

  • Earned a work paycheck for any day during your period of disability
  • Have an intentional or self-inflicted injury or were committing a criminal offense at the time
  • Were denied unemployment insurance benefits because of a work stoppage due to a labor dispute
  • Received or will receive unemployment insurance, sick leave benefits, workers’ compensation, or federal Social Security disability benefits
  • Knowingly made a false statement or failed to disclose information in order to obtain benefits
  • Filed your claim more than 90 days after your disability period began without a valid reason

How Much TDI Benefit Will I Receive in Hawaii?

If your employer’s plan provides benefits according to minimum state standards, then TDI pays 58% of the employee’s average weekly wages. However, you cannot receive more than the maximum weekly benefit amount annually set by the Disability Compensation Division. The maximum TDI weekly benefit for 2023, for example, is $765You can only receive a maximum of 26 weeks of payments during a benefit year. If your employer uses a different plan, then ask your manager for details. That plan may provide for higher payments.

Long-Term Hawaii Disability Income Is Also Available

If your medical condition lasts longer than TDI payments are available to you, there are two more benefits you can get from the Social Security Administration. The first, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), comes from the federal government. Social Security disability is designed to help replace lost wages and is coverage you already earned. If you paid enough Social Security taxes through your lifetime earnings, the SSDI program replaces some of your income if you’re unable to work. You must be at least 18 years old, but younger than 67 for SSDI approval.

How to Get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits in Hawaii

Gather the information and documents you need to apply. Print and review the Adult Disability Checklist and gather the information you need to complete the application. You can apply online, by phone, or in person at a local SSA office.

The SSA reviews your application to make sure you meet some basic requirements and checks whether you worked enough years to qualify. The SSA then:

  1. Evaluates your current Hawaii employment activities (if any).
  2. Processes your application.
  3. Forwards your case to the Disability Determination Services Honolulu office for their review.
  4. A DDS claim agent in the Honolulu office then makes your disability determination decision.

On average, the SSA awards just one in five initial SSDI claims monthly benefits. In fact, last year, just 30% of those who apply for SSDI got benefits at all. Get a Hawaii disability benefits lawyer to help you apply. All Social Security lawyers work on contingency and don’t charge fees unless you’re successful. If your health improves enough for you to start working again in less than 12 months, they’ll reject your claim. It is important to have copies of your full medical records from your doctor to submit with your SSDI application.

Who Qualifies for SSDI?

The Social Security Act has a strict definition of disability. This benefit is only available if you’re unable to work due to a serious medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death. Learn more about how the SSA defines disability.

In addition to benefits for individuals, the program also makes payments to certain people with disabilities who are eligible dependents.

How Big Are the Payments from SSDI?

In 2024, the average Social Security disability benefit is $1,537. The maximum SSDI amount is $3,822 per month.

The SSA determines your benefit amount using your highest average wage earnings over a 35-year period. It takes approximately 3-5 months to review every SSDI claim. In addition, the Social Security Administration has a required five month waiting period before you can get SSDI.

A Third Option: Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits

If you’re disabled and have limited income and resources, then you may qualify for SSI. If you haven’t worked five in the last 10 years or are at least 65 years old with few assets, your age alone may make you eligible. SSI has the most strict rules of all three programs. You must not exceed income or asset limits to remain eligible. Assets are things you own, including real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks, or bonds.

You may be able to get SSI if your assets are worth $2,000 or less ($3,000 for couples).  

Monthly SSI payments are $943 per person (at most), or $1,415 per couple in 2024.

If you’re an adult wishing to file for SSI and SSDI, you can apply for both at the same time.

You May Qualify for Professional Claim Assistance

A Hawaii disability lawyer makes claim approval much more likely within 6 months or less. All Hawaiian disability lawyers charge nothing for legal assistance up front. A local Social Security attorney only gets one small fee once your claim is successful.

Want free local expert help with your application? Then click the button below to start your free online benefits quiz and see if you may qualify:

Get Your Free Benefits Evaluation

Laura Schaefer is the author ofThe Teashop Girls,The Secret Ingredient, andLittler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.