Weekly Unemployment Benefits for New Filers to Increase

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People who are filing new unemployment claims will be eligible for an additional $18 per week, according to the state Department of Labor, and some changes are coming for employees in the food industry.  

Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said Wednesday that the increase of $18 to the weekly benefit allowance will be for new claimants who file on Oct. 4 or after.

On Oct. 4, the weekly benefit rate will go up $18 to a maximum of $667 per week for new filers with a benefit year starting on or after that. The Department of Labor said this does not apply to claimants who are currently receiving unemployment or who file a claim prior to Oct. 4.

The Department of Labor said the weekly benefit rate is based on the average wage of all Connecticut workers calculated between April 2019 and March 2020 and the Connecticut Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages puts that wage at $1,349 per week during that timeframe.

The dependency allowance remains $15 per dependent to a maximum of $75 per week.

The grant funding will allow Connecticut to provide an additional $300 per week to those who became unemployed due to COVID-19, on top of their regular unemployment benefit.

Restaurant Worker Wages

Beginning Sept. 24, tipped food service workers must be paid a minimum wage of $12 per hour when they are performing duties other than tipped food service for more than two hours per shift or 20 percent of their time, according to the Department of Labor.

The Tip Credit rate of pay will remain $6.38 per hour.

A Look at the Claims

The state Department of Labor said that since March 13, it has received more than 965,000 state, federal, and extended benefits applications and the application processing time is down from a high of six weeks to one to three days. The state, to date, has borrowed $342 million for the Trust Fund and has submitted the following borrowing requests: October - $150 million, November - $150 million, and December - $250 million.

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