‘Bug' Causing Delay in Application Process for Self-Employed

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The state provided a brief update on the access to unemployment applications for the self-employed on Wednesday.

The state Department of Labor encountered a bug in the system to run the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program as they were doing testing, according to Connecticut chief operating officer, Josh Geballe.

"This is an entirely new system that had to be stood up from scratch," Geballe said.

The Department of Labor is working to fix the problem as fast as possible, according to Geballe.

Last week, Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said the final application process would be available for the self-employed by the middle of this week. The glitch has pushed that back.

"All of that explanation, of course, is no solace to the people who are waiting for these benefits to come," Geballe said.

Those who are self-employed or part of the gig economy have historically not been eligible for unemployment. That changed when they coronavirus devastated the economy in March and led to 30 million people losing their jobs due to the pandemic.

The federal government passed the PUA benefit program to help those who work for themselves.

It is actually a two-step process to apply for the PUA benefits. The first part of the process has been open for self-employed residents for weeks, but it's the second step that is not yet open.

When it is up and running, the second step in the application process will be available here.

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