Restaurant card program launches website for beneficiaries

LIHU‘E — On Tuesday, the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) announced a website for the unemployed to check to see if they are eligible to receive the $500 restaurant debit card issued by the state as part of the Economic Relief Program.

Qualified recipients will automatically receive this benefit beginning Oct. 16. Hawai‘i residents who opened an initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim on or after March 1, 2020; certified that their job loss is due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and received UI benefits during the month of September 2020, are eligible for this program. There is no need to apply.

Residents can check their eligibility status at

The use of the debit card is limited to certain participating restaurants.

If the cardholder does not use up all of the funds on their card, by Dec. 15, it will be returned to the State of Hawai‘i.

For more info go to

  1. Ann October 14, 2020 11:25 am Reply

    It appears PUA recipients aren’t eligible for this program. That’s a bummer.

    1. Noelani October 19, 2020 11:29 am Reply

      I just read the 10/15/2020 news update and it said:
      “Gwen Yamamoto Lau, DBEDT’s administer confirmed that another 30,000 cards will be mailed out to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants whose claims were processed in September, once the department gets a hold of that separate data.”
      So PUA will get it if you were receiving PUA in september…

  2. Jwanda lam October 15, 2020 4:50 am Reply

    I was recieving pua unemployment. They cut me off. Stating i owe . and they say keep on filing. I send all my documents but still im not getting nothing. This isnt fair. I dont get pua or 500 restruant card. Im unemployedcall me ill explain 8432670549. I wish someone call me about this. Because. This isnt fair. No one contact me about my pua. Its been 4 months now. Thank you Aloha

    1. Bjr October 30, 2020 7:24 am Reply

      A lot of people are In Your situation you should join the Hawaii pua support group on Facebook someone on there can help you get it cleared up it’s seems a lot of people have contacted certain government officials and now there is also a hotline to call finally!

  3. Courtney Cui October 16, 2020 9:24 am Reply

    Hi! It looks like this card is available for use at all Hawaii restaurants! Just wanted to clarify. The Food a-go-go restaurants have special promos for these card holders but on the website it shows usage at all restaurants for food and non-alcoholic beverages!

  4. Elizabeth Doss October 16, 2020 4:50 pm Reply

    Some sites state clearly that the restaurant card covers alcohol and tips. Others say it only covers non-alcoholic beverages. Did they change the rules? Which is accurate? Is it different from island to island? Thanks for any clarification.

  5. Masterchief October 17, 2020 12:28 pm Reply

    Odd… I have UI since April and it says I don’t qualify for the card. Anyone else get this?

    1. Ernesto October 20, 2020 4:30 pm Reply

      I have claim from March till now and it say I am not qualified

  6. Tien Wang October 19, 2020 3:05 pm Reply

    So when do PUA user able to get the restaurant card. Also there is time limit with this restaurant card will it be extended.

  7. Sarah Watson November 14, 2020 8:22 pm Reply

    Site says I’m eligible but still no card in the mail. Only less than a month left, hope it comes soon…

  8. sally Asao November 21, 2020 4:35 pm Reply

    Today is 11/21 and I have not received my PUA Hawaii Restaurant Card. I have gotten my first PUA deposited in my account 9/17 which are claims starting February 2020. I tried filling Am I Eligible and says not eligible. I called talked to Sup Cherry who says my account has been deleted. Can someone please explain why I am not getting my HRC? There is not much time to use it.
    808 842-6569 and you have my email. Please help

  9. Sally Asao December 7, 2020 3:01 pm Reply

    Never got a response to my email and never got my restaurant card or Grocery Card.
    Is this site any good? Feel like I’m talking to the wall.

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