Nearly 100,000 new claims for unemployment insurance had been filed in Connecticut between March 13 through March 20. Though new figures for late March have yet to be released, officials with the Connecticut Department of Labor said the number of new filings continues to grow.
For first-time filers, the process can be confusing. Here is some information help you navigate filing for unemployment in Connecticut amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Do you qualify for unemployment?
You can collect unemployment benefits if you have been laid off and you are eligible to continue working. Usually, you would only be eligible if you are actively looking for work. However, that requirement has been waived during the coronavirus outbreak.
If you have been furloughed, you can collect unemployment. Even those who were self-employed or were an independent contractor are recommended to apply for benefits if they lost a job during the COVID-19 outbreak.
How much does unemployment pay if you have been laid off?
That monetary amount is based on how much you had been earning at your job. The Department of Labor has said that unemployment pays about fifty percent of your weekly gross earnings over the last fifteen months.
On average, payments are $376 per week. Currently that amount is capped at $649 weekly. There is also a $15 per child ‘dependency allowance’ for each child that you support.
How long can you receive unemployment?
Unemployment insurance benefits can be allocated for up to 26 weeks. That is the current rule set by the federal government.
If your employer is still paying you even though you are not working, you cannot collect unemployment.
Anyone who is eligible should go to the Connecticut Department of Labor website. On the website, there are specific responses each applicant needs to enter based on their specific employment situation.
When you are ready to file, you will also need your social security number and the social security numbers and birth dates for any of your dependents.
If you received a separation packet from your employer, you will need that to file as well.
if you are deemed eligible for unemployment, it is recommended that you select the ‘direct deposit’ option to expedite your payments.
The state Department of Labor is asking applicants to be patient, as eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. With so many people filing at once, there may be backlog that could delay the processing of your claim.
If you are trying to file for unemployment and you have run into trouble or have a COVID-19 consumer-related problem, contact NBC Connecticut Responds at 844-303-RESP or submit your story by clicking here.