Jobless Will Get More Help

The state Department of Labor is opening phone lines to help more people inquiring about unemployment benefits and is temporarily rehiring recent retirees to handle the extra workload.

Connecticut also is approving more overtime for the division of the department that handles unemployment claims.  Connecticut's jobless rate recently hit 6.5 percent, matching the national average.

The governor says money from recent federal legislation will help the state pay for the extra services. That federal package also extends unemployment compensation for people whose benefits have expired.

Those who are already collecting the initial 13 weeks of extended federal benefits approved by Congress this past summer will automatically continue to receive the newest extension if they have not yet found employment, Rell said. 

Those who have exhausted the 13 weeks of the extended benefits and are no longer collecting but and have not yet found employment will receive a letter of instruction in the mail. DOL is identifying the individuals and will soon be mailing these letters.

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