The holiday season is the busiest time of year for unemployment claims, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor.
“So normally when we’re handling about 25, 2600 claims a week, it usually triples during this time of year. And a lot of that is attributed to seasonal employment. There are educational institutions, bus drivers that are shut down for the holiday,” said Gregg Kallajian, program and services coordinator with the Department of Labor.
The department has extra staff on hand, but Kallajian said a claim that would usually take two days to process could take upwards of five days to process during this time of year.
All new claims must be filed through the Department of Labor’s online system. You will need the Connecticut Employer Registration Number from the employer you are leaving, as well as an active email address and a savings or checking account to set up direct deposit or a debit card. The Department of Labor no longer issues paper checks.
If you don’t have a computer or need help with your claim, you can visit one of the state’s five American Job Centers.
The job centers also offer help for job seekers including free workshops and job fairs.
Kallajian said existing weekly claims will continue to be processed normally.
The Department of Labor is also reminding filers they must actively seek work as a condition of receiving unemployment insurance.
“In the state of Connecticut, we look at three efforts per week. And we recommend that they log those efforts on a log sheet that we have through our website,” Kallajian said.
“What we ask them to do is write down what their efforts are, the name of the employer, when they looked for work, who they contacted.”
Kallajian said the department randomly chooses 18 cases per week for audit.