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You Ask. We Answer. Filing for unemployment while self-employed and what to do if your payments stopped

Here are some more answers to the questions you have sent us- and an update from the Department of Labor.

Thanks to your questions, the Department of Labor has been able to pick out a number of issues other unemployment claimants are having.

Here are some more answers to the questions you have sent us- and an update from the Department of Labor.

Self-employed individuals may now begin applying for unemployment benefits in a two-step process. Step two will be available by mid-week next week and you'll start seeing your money by the end of the week. It should include retroactive payments. Here is how you apply and the responses you should expect from the Department of Labor:

Step 1). Beginning April 30:

  • File a regular state claim application with the Connecticut Department of Labor here, using the BLUEbutton to file.  

    NOTE: Self-employed individuals who already filed a claim application through this system SHOULD NOT file again. The agency has these original claims and a duplicate is not needed. 

  • After completing and submitting your application, look for an email from CTDOL:
    “Thank you for submitting your online application for unemployment compensation benefits with the Connecticut Department of Labor. … Please look for a CONFIRMATION EMAIL notifying you that your claim has been processed. This email will include your NEXT STEPS information including instructions for when to start filing your weekly claims.

  • Look for a second email from CTDOL:
    “Your claim for benefits has been processed! If this is a new claim then we are sending information regarding your claim via US mail.”

  • Look for your eligibility determination (Form UC-58 Monetary Determination) that must be sent through the US mail service.

  • If the UC-58 Monetary Determination shows that you have a “zero” weekly benefit rate (which means you do not have wage earnings in the state system) you are not eligible for state benefits and are eligible to file in the ReEmployCT system for self-employed individuals.

  • If the UC-58 Monetary Determination shows a weekly benefit rate, you have wage earnings in the state system and are entitled to collect state unemployment benefits.

Step 2). Once You Receive Your UC-58 in the Mail:

  • Go to CTDOL www.filectui.comfor the link to PUA button.
  • The PUA system will have a record of your state benefit ineligibility status.
  • Complete the PUA application –
  • Applicants will need 2019 IRS forms, 1099, 2019 W-2s, and Schedule C.  Applicants will be asked to provide earnings for 2019, broken down by quarters. Those without tax records for 2019 can self-attest their earnings, but will be subject to audit. 
  • Applicants will be asked the date when COVID-19 impacted their employment. Federal guidelines allow this to go back to Feb. 2, 2020. If an unemployed status goes back to retroactive weeks, the system asks the claimant for weekly earnings through the current week filing.
  • Once the PUA application is completed, if applicants did not select a payment method when filing under the state unemployment system, they will select their method of payment (direct deposit or debit card – the agency recommends direct deposit for much faster payment). Payment selection is made by returning to www.filectui.comand selecting the “method of payment” green button.

Here are more answers to questions you have sent us:

Nekisha James from Hartford, Richard Liso from Branford, and Willie Solomon have been experiencing similar problems.

Nekisha received unemployment once on March 28th and then nothing afterwards. Now she is locked out of her account.

Similarly, Willie received one payment and then was told filing would be automatic. However, he now has an error code showing he has returned to work.

Richard filed for unemployment and received payment and then stopped receiving payments

The Department of Labor has identified 2,200 individuals who are experiencing the same problem. Commissioner Westby said people from the Department of Labor will call those claimants Thursday and Friday.

The Department of Labor says the system automatically thinks someone has gone back to work then they miss filing for a week. If you are one of these people, you can file again beginning Sunday May 3.

Patti Hamaguchi from Watertown says her daughter filed back on March 15th. Her application is still in process.

The Department of Labor says usually a claim is in process when the agency is waiting to hear back from an employer in another state to determine an employees weekly benefit amount. For Patti’s daughter, Sara, The Department of Labor will release the claim with a lower unemployment amount and then readjust the benefit rate later on.

No matter the claim issue you are having, many are frustrated with not being able to get in contact with someone at the Department of Labor.

Commissioner Westby and Deputy Commissioner Bartolomeo addressed this issue Thursday.

They say the Department of Labor is hiring 60 more people to handle call claims. They say dealing with unemployment claims is a highly technical process, so it's difficult to set up a call center without having months to train people.

When we send them your questions, they are able to find issues and resolve them.

The state is also hoping to make the application for the 13-week unemployment benefit extensions available next week. They’re retroactive back to March 29 and available through the end of the year.

We’re reading every single one of your emails and we’re looking for answers for all of your questions. In fact, your question may already have been answered.

We’ve compiled all of the questions and answers we’ve gotten so far on our website.

If your question hasn’t been answered, send us an email at share61@fox61.com or text us at (860) 527-6161.

The New Normal for a Jewelry Store Buyer in Granby

Whether you’re unemployed or just stuck inside, everyone is coping with staying home in different ways.

“This is great. Facetime’s great,” says Annette DiClemente of Granby. “I miss my grandkids. It’s my husband and I.”

 Julia, Carmen, Cameron, and Vincent regularly FaceTime their Grandma. 

 Annette works at Swede’s Jewelers in East Windsor. She has been furloughed since March 21. 

 “I love it. Absolutely love it,” she says. “It’s kind of hard staying home trying to keep in touch with the customers, but we’ll go back full force.”

 Like many of us, she misses human interaction.

 “The people, [the] hugs, the stories, the laughing,” says DiClemente. “It’s just really hard to stay home.”

 To stay positive, she volunteered to make a very special engagement ring curbside delivery. 

 Everyday brings something new for Annette, but she fills her time she would usually be working with hobbies.

“Well I’ve been baking a lot. I’ve been making a lot of bread. I cook a lot so that helps,” says DiClemente. “I have my hobby of knitting. Mother’s day is our second busiest season and for all those moms out there who are staying home and doing homeschooling and working, we’re trying to figure out a way to still make their Mother’s Day a good Mother’s Day.”

 We want to see what your new normal looks like. Send us your own video diary to share61@fox61.com. We will show your story on air!