CONNECTICUT

Connecticut Unemployment Benefits

onnecticut unemployment insurance (UI) is a program that provides temporary financial assistance to eligible applicants who find themselves temporarily unemployed. Thus, enrollees can use these funds to support themselves and their families while they search for a new job. In any case, candidates must meet specific program requirements in order to be eligible to receive UI benefits.

Eligibility requirements include acceptable reasons for petitioners’ unemployment, their financial standing and their willingness to work. Moreover, Connecticut’s Department of Labor (DOL) administers the UI program in the state. However, different versions of unemployment assistance exist across the country.

Potential candidates may wonder how to apply for unemployment online in Connecticut or where they can access these applications in person. The sections below address eligibility for UI, the application process and what types of information they must prepare before they submit their claims.

What is unemployment in Connecticut?

Unemployment in Connecticut is available to qualifying applicants who have worked in the state until recently. Successful applicants are able to file an unemployment claim for a maximum of 26 weeks throughout a calendar year. During that time, enrollees may be eligible to receive up to $613, which is the state’s maximum weekly benefit rate (WBR). However, unemployment insurance coverage is not intended to be a long-term financial solution for unemployed workers. Rather, the program’s goal is to provide temporary financial support to individuals as they search for new work opportunities.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Connecticut?

Eligibility for unemployment in Connecticut is determined by assessing an applicant’s candidacy in two key areas: monetary eligibility and non-monetary eligibility. The state’s Department of Labor (DOL) determines financial eligibility by examining how much money petitioners made during their base periods. With regard to unemployment insurance eligibility, a base period refers to the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. Additionally, candidates wondering, “What are the requirements to get unemployment?” must be certain that they have sufficient wage credits. In general, an applicant’s total base period earnings must equal or exceed 40 times a weekly benefit rate.

Moreover, to determine who qualifies for UI in Connecticut, the DOL also examines applicants’ non-monetary eligibility. These criteria are more expansive, and they address matters such as:

  • Job separation – In order to receive UI benefits, enrollees must be unemployed through no fault of their own. For instance, applicants who quit their jobs for being unable to find proper child care are unlikely to be eligible.
  • Work availability – To meet qualifications for unemployment insurance, candidates must be mentally and physically available to work. Thus, having disabilities or school commitments that prevent applicants from working full-time may disqualify them from receiving UI benefits.
  • Employment search – Applicants must actively search for work when they are unemployed. Petitioners who demonstrate no motivation to seek employment will be ineligible to receive payment.

When the DOL determines applicants’ eligibility for unemployment in CT, it also takes into account their legal statuses. For that reason, non-citizens are required to possess valid work authorization permits before applying to receive UI benefits. This requirement applies even if non-citizen applicants qualify for UI benefits under other statutes.

How can I sign up for unemployment in Connecticut?

Applicants may wonder how to apply for unemployment online if they are searching for a fast method to submit their claims. Filing an online application for unemployment insurance is a simple process that can be done 24/7 on the state portal. However, before petitioners can apply for UI benefits online in Connecticut, they must create an account. After creating usernames and passwords, claimants can begin their applications. For security purposes, applicants may not submit their information over the phone to DOL representatives.

In order to file for an unemployment claim, candidates are required to submit specific information. This is used to validate their identities and employment history, which can inform whether they qualify to receive UI benefits. Petitioners must include:

  • Identifying information – Applicants must report their names, Social Security Numbers (SSN), emails, physical addresses and mailing addresses.
  • Employment history – The UI registration process requires petitioners to provide information regarding any employers they have had in the past 18 months. Moreover, candidates must include an employer’s name and contact information, as well as the dates for that employment.
  • Reason for termination – Petitioners must report the reasons why they were terminated from their previous positions. Because these answers will be compared to statements collected from employers, it is important for claimants to be honest.

When candidates file for unemployment in CT, they are also required to choose how they would like to receive their benefits. However, the state only uses paperless systems to pay UI compensation. Therefore, applicants must decide whether they would like to receive funds via a debit card or a bank direct deposit.

How do I prepare for the unemployment insurance interview in Connecticut?

In some instances, applicants may need to participate in an unemployment phone interview with a DOL representative. These conversations are not always a requirement of the UI petition process, but they may be necessary for certain applicants. In order to properly prepare for the UI interview in Connecticut, claimants must first understand why the DOL requires these interviews.

An unemployment phone interview is used to validate and expand upon applicants’ claims. As a result, the DOL requires them when it needs additional information or clarification regarding an application. The questions asked during an unemployment interview vary depending on the pieces of information that need clarification. However, there are two common reasons that require the DOL to conduct these interviews. The first relates to unclear and unfinished applications. For example, the DOL may require an unemployment phone interview with applicants if they submit any information that requires further elaboration. However, these interviews generally end quickly.

Secondly, the DOL may also require a UI phone interview when applicants and employers submit conflicting information regarding employment termination. After claimants submit their applications, the DOL notifies the petitioners’ most recent employers so the office may obtain their statements. Moreover, a UI interview will be necessary if an applicant’s testimony differs from his or her employer’s.

Employers and claimants may wonder how to pass the unemployment insurance interview, because these conversations affect the DOL’s assessment of these claims. However, both parties must focus on making sure that the information they provide is succinct and accurate. Deliberately falsifying information during a UI phone interview could void participants’ statements.

How do I claim unemployment benefits in Connecticut?

Candidates are eligible to claim unemployment benefits in Connecticut once they receive an official notice that announces their acceptance into the program. However, enrollees are required to adhere to specific stipulations in order to maintain their claims. For example, recipients are required to file a weekly unemployment benefits claim. Beneficiaries may file these continued claims online or over the phone, and will be required to answer certain eligibility questions. These inquiries relate to the following topics:

  • Work eligibility – Applicants must specify whether or not they were able to work during the weeks for which they are requesting benefits. Similarly, candidates must report if they denied any employment opportunities during that time.
  • Work opportunities – Candidates must declare any part-time, full-time or self-employment opportunities they engaged in during their enrollment periods.
  • Educational activities – Petitioners are obligated to report any college classes or training they undertook during their UI enrollment periods.
  • Payment – Recipients are required to report any pension, severance pay, workers’ compensation or income they received during the weeks they are reporting about.

When assessing how to claim UI benefits, applicants must remember to submit accurate information in a timely manner. Moreover, petitioners’ abilities to claim UI benefits rely on their punctuality and honesty. When claiming benefits for unemployment, enrollees must also remember that they must provide the names of any previous employers. Similarly, beneficiaries also need to provide their employers’ contact information.

What do I do if I am denied unemployment benefits in Connecticut?

Applicants who are denied unemployment benefits by the state’s Department of Labor have the right to appeal these decisions. Additionally, employers have the right to appeal any DOL decisions that they disagree with. These UI appeals must be submitted to the Employment Security Appeals Division, which is a subsidiary of the DOL. This department’s main function is to evaluate appeals.

In addition, petitioners who are denied unemployment benefits have 21 calendar days to appeal the DOL’s decisions. In general, these appeals forms are widely available at the American Job Center offices. Moreover, applicants and employers may submit these documents through fax or mail. On the other hand, candidates may also file their appeals in person at the Job Center. Besides that, claimants who are denied UI benefits in Connecticut have the opportunity to apply online. Once the Employment Security Appeals Division processes the unemployment denial appeal, relevant parties will receive notifications that announce when and where the hearings will take place. Except in instances where parties cannot attend the hearings because they moved or have work obligations, referees conduct these trials in person.

In order to prepare for a denied unemployment benefits hearing, employers and claimants must prepare their witnesses and supporting evidence. Examples of suitable written evidence may include:

  • Time cards.
  • Written warnings.
  • Employee handbooks.
  • Hiring contracts.
  • Agency reports.
  • Medical records.

After the UI appeals hearing, referees will mail their determinations to relevant parties. If claimants or employers disagree with these decisions, they have 21 days to file subsequent appeals to a board of review.

How can I apply for a federal unemployment extension in Connecticut?  

During high unemployment periods, U.S. Congress may offer a federal unemployment extension to beneficiaries who reached their maximum UI periods. An unemployment benefits extension may also be offered on a state-by-state basis. Therefore, there may be instances when Congress offers an unemployment extension in Connecticut but not in other parts of the country. When offered, a UI compensation extension in CT allows program beneficiaries to receive payment beyond the state’s 26-week limit. However, these extensions are uncommon. They are only offered when the number of unemployed people in a state is uncommonly high.

In any case, when Congress authorizes a UI compensation extension, it is simple for eligible candidates to enroll. Beneficiaries who have already exhausted their state’s year-long UI limits must contact the DOL to reenroll.

How do I contact the Connecticut unemployment office?

The Connecticut unemployment office is available to answer questions regarding candidates’ eligibility and the enrollment process. In addition to calling the Connecticut UI office telephone numbers, petitioners may visit an unemployment center within the state. The Hartford American Job Center is located at:

3580 Main Street

Hartford, Connecticut 06120

Similarly, claimants and employers may visit the CT UI office in the DOL. The closest office located to Hartford is at:

200 Folly Brook Boulevard

Wethersfield, Connecticut 06109

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can you collect unemployment in Connecticut if you quit your job?

In general, unemployment benefits are awarded to people who are out of work through no fault of their own. It is possible for a worker who quits their job to be awarded benefits if they can show cause that they quit because of a reason attributed to the employer.

How long can you collect unemployment benefits in Connecticut?

The maximum amount of time that a person can receive unemployment benefits in the state of Connecticut is 26 weeks.

Can the state help me find a job?

CTHires.com is an online database that helps employers connect with people who are actively looking for work. CTHires helps individuals search for a job based on location, base pay, employer and much more. The CTHires website can also help users build their resume.

What do I need to do to maintain my benefits?

In the state of Connecticut, you must file a continued claim every week that you are unemployed. If for some reason you miss filing a claim, you may not be able to file a claim the following week which may result in a delay or loss of benefits.

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UNEMPLOYMENT AGENCY INFORMATION

Connecticut Department of Labor 200 Folly Brook Boulevard Wethersfield, CT 6109 (860) 263-6000 View Website Unemployement Claim File