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Hawaii disability benefits

Temporary Disability Insurance in Hawaii

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
Published June 28, 2024
3 min read
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If you live in Hawaii and are unable to work because of an illness or injury, there are multiple disability programs that might be a fit for you. SSDI and SSI are available to all U.S. residents who cannot work for a year or more due to disability. But if your disability is short-term — meaning, you’ll only need benefits for a limited amount of time before you’ll be able to go back to work — Hawaii’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program is the right choice for you.


Does Hawaii have a state disability program?

Yes. Only five states have state disability programs, and Hawaii is one of them (the others are California, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island).

Temporary Disability Insurance in Hawaii is designed as a short-term solution to replace part of your paycheck while you’re unable to work due to an illness or injury. Every employer is required to provide TDI coverage to eligible employees. TDI covers recipients for a maximum of 26 weeks, with up to 58% of former wages. 

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What is the difference between TDI and disability?

Both federal disability programs (SSDI and SSI) and Hawaii’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) pay benefits to people who are unable to work due to illness or injury. However, there are several notable differences between these programs:

Qualifications

You are eligible for TDI in Hawaii if you need leave from work for over a week because of a non-work-related injury or illness that a licensed healthcare provider is treating. (If your injury is related to work, you need worker’s comp.) You must also have at least 14 weeks of Hawaii employment and have been paid for 20+ hours during each of those weeks. 

For both SSDI and SSI, you’ll need to meet the government’s definition of disabled. Take a look at the Blue Book, which contains most qualifying disabilities, to see if your condition is listed there.

These federal programs have technical requirements, too. If you’re aiming for SSDI, you’ll need to have a certain number of work credits — usually, 40 total, with 20 of those earned in the last 10 years. You get one work credit for every $1,730 you earn.

Since SSI is needs-based, your work history isn’t relevant. Instead, you qualify based on your income and assets. Your income must be less than $943 per month in 2024. Your total assets must be less than $2,000 for individuals, or $3,000 for married couples.

Timeline for approval

You’ll need to submit your Hawaii TDI claim within 90 days from the onset of your disability. If it’s denied, or if you disagree with the amount, you may file an appeal and will be given a hearing. After that, if your first application is denied and your request for a reconsideration is denied, you can request a hearing. The average wait time for a hearing in Hawaii is currently 18 months.

For SSDI and SSI, it can take you over two years to get approved — an average of two years and five months in Hawaii specifically. While SSI doesn’t have a waiting period to start payments after approval, SSDI does have a five-month waiting period before your benefits begin.

Payment amounts

TDI recipients in Hawaii may be able to receive up to 58% of their former wages. The maximum amount you can get per week is $640. SSDI pays a maximum of $3,822 per month in 2024. SSI checks are a max of $943 a month. 

In Hawaii, the average monthly SSDI payment is $1,772. For SSI benefits, the average payment is $580 per month. 

Duration of coverage

Hawaii’s TDI program lasts for a maximum of 26 weeks.

SSDI and SSI benefits last either indefinitely, or until you reach retirement age. Then, they’ll transition into retirement benefits instead. 


Who is eligible for TDI benefits?

To qualify for TDI in Hawaii, you will need to meet both medical and work-related requirements. First, you must need leave from work for over a week because of an injury or illness. Common examples include:

  • Illnesses such as COVID-19, cancer, and pneumonia

  • Non-work-related injuries

  • Pregnancy and childbirth

  • Recovery from an accident or surgery

  • Mental health conditions that leave you unable to do your job

Additionally, you must meet these criteria as well:

  • You have at least 14 weeks of Hawaii employment and have been paid for 20+ hours during each of those weeks. It’s okay if the 14 weeks weren’t consecutive, or were with different employers. However, you must not have earned less than $400 in the year before your disability began.  

  • Your injury or illness is not work-related.

  • Your injury or illness prevents you from performing your regular duty.

  • You are under the care of a licensed or accredited healthcare provider, who has certified your disability.

  • You are currently employed (or, you were employed immediately before the date you suffered your injury or illness).

If you meet these criteria, your employer is required by law to give you TDI benefits. 


How much are TDI benefits in Hawaii?

TDI recipients in Hawaii may be able to receive up to 58% of their former wages. The maximum amount you can get per week is $640. TDI can last for up to 26 weeks. 

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Average
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$1,489


How do I file a TDI claim?

Before applying for TDI in Hawaii, you’ll need to wait for seven days after your illness or injury begins. Once that period is up, you’re free to submit your TDI claim (and you’ll need to do so within 90 days of the date your disability began). Follow these steps:

  • Notify your employer of your disability.

  • Ask your employer for Form TDI-45, Claim for TDI Benefits.

  • Ask your healthcare provider to complete Part C of the form.

  • Ask your employer to complete Part B of the form.

  • Mail the form to your employer’s TDI insurance company.

Once you’re ready to submit your application, you can do so online at SSA.gov; over the phone (1-800-772-1213); or in person. In Hawaii, you’ll find SSA offices in:

Hilo

111 E Puainako St Ste 710

Hilo, HI 96720

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Phone Number: (855) 572-4860

Fax Number: (833) 950-2766

Honolulu

300 Ala Moana Blvd Rm 1114 Fed Bldg

Honolulu, HI 96850

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Phone Number: (855) 572-4879

Fax Number: (833) 950-2764

Kapolei

970 Manawai St

Kapolei, HI 96707

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Phone Number: (855) 572-4866

Fax Number: (833) 950-2742

Lihue

4334 Rice St Ste 105

Lihue, HI 96766

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Phone Number: (855) 572-4842

Fax Number: (833) 950-2768

Wailuku

2200 Main St Ste 125

Wailuku, HI 96793

Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Phone Number: (855) 572-4863

Fax Number: (833) 950-2740

See all SSA offices in Hawaii


Get help with your disability application

Whether you’re looking to file for state or federal disability benefits, we can help. In some cases, you can even get TDI and SSDI at the same time. We can provide you with free legal advice on how to qualify for disability in Hawaii and, if needed, connect you with a good disability lawyer. Get started here.

Frequently asked questions about benefits in Hawaii

What qualifies you for disability in Hawaii?

To qualify for disability you need to have a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet certain work history requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more on these requirements, read our full write up here.

What conditions qualify for disability in Hawaii?

Any condition that will prevent you from working for a year or more can qualify for disability benefits. Some of the most common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, nervous system diseases, and circulatory system diseases. See our full list of conditions that qualify here.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in Hawaii?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in Hawaii. Most people who apply are initially rejected, and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process takes just over two years on average. Read more: Why It Takes so Long to Get Approved for Disability Benefits

How much does disability pay in Hawaii?

The average SSDI payment in Hawaii is $1,416.96 per month. The average SSI payment is $629.34 per month. What you’ll earn depends on your income or the amount you’ve historically paid into the Social Security program. Read more on what amount you can expect.

How should I prepare my disability application in Hawaii?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also ensure that you gather and submit all your medical records with your application. The SSA paperwork can be complicated, so our legal team has written a full guide to the application here.

Does Hawaii have a state disability program?

Yes, Hawaii is one of the five states with its own state disability program. Hawaiians can apply for temporary disability benefits (TDI) that offer up to 26 weeks of payments. Work injuries aren’t covered, though. If your injury will keep you out of work longer, you can still apply for SSDI and SSI.

Related resources:

Hawaii Disability Benefits

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

SSA Offices in Hawaii

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

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Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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