CT Residents Unemployed Since Early in Pandemic Will Need to Reapply for Benefits

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People who filed for unemployment benefits at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic must reapply for a new unemployment benefit year because the prior benefit year is coming to an end, according to Connecticut Department of Labor officials.

The pandemic started a year ago and each unemployment claim is valid for 52 weeks.

In the past year, the department has received around 1.4 million state, federal, and extended benefits applications, which is typically what the agency receives over about 10 years, according to the state Department of Labor.

Connecticut currently has about 205,000 weekly fliers.

“Over the next few weeks, the Department is expecting about 150,000 new claims as people who filed at the beginning of the pandemic come to the end of their current benefit year. Last year at this time, we had a few dozen claims representatives and claims processing times were 4-6 weeks. We now have more than 100 customer service agents assisting claimants; however, we’re asking filers to be patient as it may take a week to process claims with the new benefit year surge,” Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said in a statement.

How to File an Unemployment Claim in CT

Each unemployment claim is valid for 52 weeks and claimants are notified after that they must submit a new application using the blue button on www.FileCTUI.com.

The system is available 24 hours per day, every day, in English and Spanish.

To be eligible for the benefit extensions under the American Rescue Plan, claimants must first file for a new benefit year if they have come to the end of their current benefit year.

Once they have established a new unemployment claim, the extensions under the American Rescue Plan apply.

Department of Labor officials said additional information about American Rescue Plan provisions will be released soon and will be updated on the state Department of Labor website’s federal programs webpage.

After the new claim is filed and processed, claimants will be notified that they may begin their weekly certifications.

Officials said the claim processing times are currently one to three days, but the surge of applications is expected to increase processing times to a week.

For filing assistance, you can contact the Consumer Contact Center.

You may make an appointment for a call and the department is urging filers are urged to check the website FAQs before calling the Contact Center.

CT Department of Labor Consumer Contact Center

Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Closed Sunday and holidays
1 203-941-6868
1 860-967-0493
1 800-956-3294
TTY - 711 or 800-842-9710

Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation

The Department of labor said the CARES Act II includes the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, or MEUC program, which is expected to roll out in Connecticut in early April.

It offers an additional $100 per week for eligible filers who have both self-employment earnings as well as W2 earnings.

The state Department of Labor will notify claimants who may be eligible.

American Job Centers

Connecticut’s American Job Centers are open by appointment for job search assistance, career counseling, recruitment services for employers, and other resources.

Trust Fund

  • To date, the state has borrowed $655 million for the Trust Fund.
  • Borrowing requests for: April, May, and June are in process. A borrowing request does not indicate state spending for the month.
  • Since March 13, 2020, the state Department of Labor has disbursed $7.5 billion in unemployment benefits:
    • $366 million in Lost Wages Assistance
    • $3.6 billion in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
    • $3.5 billion in unemployment benefits as follows:
      • $2.3 billion in state unemployment benefits;
      • $485 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);
      • $586 million Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
      • $12 million in state extended benefits; and
      • $121 million in federal extended benefits
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