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Connecticut to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits

It will expand unemployment benefits for workers who have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Gov. Ned Lamont has signed an executive order allowing the Connecticut Department of Labor to ultimately expand eligibility for a federal unemployment program to an estimated 38,000 additional recipients.

These unemployed workers were previously disqualified from receiving the temporary, extra financial benefit. Under the Democrat’s order, announced on Friday, $7.5 million from the state’s unemployment trust fund will be used make sure those residents, unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, receive at least $100 a week in unemployment benefits. 

“This executive order gets federal funding in the hands of residents who need it and into our economy,” Governor Lamont said. “Thanks to the hard work of our Connecticut Department of Labor, the average resident newly eligible for six weeks of Lost Wages Assistance will receive more than $2,000 that they can spend to support themselves, their family, and their community. What a difference that will make to those most in need of some good news this holiday season. To date, Connecticut has disbursed more than $5.6 billion in unemployment funding and another $327 million in Lost Wages Assistance to workers. Those numbers demonstrate just how important these programs are to residents. I thank our Congressional delegation for their hard work to pass another COVID relief bill that includes enhanced unemployment benefits. I implore Senator Mitch McConnell to stop playing political games, come to the table, and negotiate an agreement that supports our fellow citizens, who through no fault of their own now find themselves out of work during this global pandemic.”

That would then make them eligible retroactively for an additional $300 under the federal Lost Wages Assistance Program for six weeks.

“This is an important and timely benefit for tens of thousands of residents trying to make ends meet during the pandemic, many of whom are low-wage workers whose weekly benefits didn’t qualify them for the original Lost Wages Assistance program,” Connecticut Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said. “We are urging claimants who did not receive LWA over the summer to check their mail and email for instructions and apply. I applaud Governor Lamont for bringing relief to so many and ensuring Connecticut expanded the reach of this program.”