HARTFORD, Conn. — FOX61 has been working to get you answers to your questions about the coronavirus for weeks.
We have been inundated with emails and Nancy Steffans at the Department of Labor has answered every question we have asked her in regards to unemployment.
FOX61’s Taylor DiChello and Jenn Bernstein are personally responding to your emails with answers to questions you send.
The Department of Labor has an update coming on their weekly call Thursday.
Here is what they said on making sure people are there to answer your calls on April 23:
“We are looking to hire more people,” says Commissioner Kurt Westby on hiring more people to answer calls and questions regarding unemployment claims. “We are going to be hiring three waves of 20. We’re hiring 60 folks over the next few weeks... to manage call center claims, particularly for these new programs coming along. Before then, we’ll be changing the roles of a bunch of staff who are already here to be doing those tasks as well. So, there should be at least if not 70 more online in a little bit.”
This is a comment from the Department of Labor that FOX61 News will be following up on Thursday in the Department of Labor’s weekly updates.
In the meantime- people are still having trouble getting ahold of the department of labor.
So we got answers to your questions.
Stefanie Pellerin from Southington says she filed for unemployment in July of 2019 and didn’t end up needing it because she got a new job. Now that she is out of work due to COVID-19- the amount she was approved for is incorrect.
If you are in a similar situation- this is what you should do:
Pellerin did try calling, but it has also been busy with other calls.
Sheri in Coventry asked us to look into overpayment claims—the Department of Labor is withholding claims due to overpayments.
Nancy Steffens from the Department of Labor says:
If people have an overpayment, it is because they collected benefits they were not entitled to. In many cases, it is because a person continued to collect benefits after they began working again.
The agency is required by law to make every attempt to recoup overpayment money.
Employers pay into the Trust Fund that provides benefits, and we recognize that employers want us to ensure they are not paying benefits to a person who is not entitled to collect them.
If a person has a long-overdue overpayment, monetary fees and penalties must be added to what they owe. These fees and penalties cannot be offset with any benefits owed.
The person must pay them back before any new benefits can be issued. To assist a person, they can pay back the money they owe using a credit card service.
The online service is www.officialpayments.com. We have seen a significant increase in the number of people using this service to pay back overpayments.
Congress passed a bill that allows the agency to offset 50% of the $600 stimulus to repay an overpayment, but this does not apply to fees and penalties.
Elizabeth Pantano from Windsor initially had an issue with applying for benefits as well.
The new system said her partner’s login was incorrect and his account was locked. Then her furlough was extended and there was no way to update her information on the platform.
Pantano’s situation has been resolved and the Department of Labor is looking into every account with a hold on it.
If you are experiencing a locked account the Department of Labor says to go to filectui.com and click on “My Unemployment Account is Locked.” The request will go to DOL staff to unlock your account.
For changes in your Return to Work date:
- If you selected “temporary shutdown” when you filed and were not required to file continuing claims, the system will remove the return to work date automatically and you will get an email letting you know how to continue filing for weekly benefits.
- If you did not select ”temporary shutdown”, go to www.filectui.com and click on “Return to Work” or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are working diligently to make sure we get to all of your questions. If you don’t see them on air or online- check your email!