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You Ask. We Answer. Why haven't I heard from CT DOL about my unemployment claim? -- and other questions

If you have any questions about anything happening during the coronavirus pandemic, reach out to us at share61@fox61.com

FOX61 News is working to answer all of the questions you have about the coronavirus pandemic.

You have asked about when people who are receiving unemployment benefits are going to receive the extra $600 weekly check from the federal government as part of the CARES Act.

The good news is Governor Lamont announced that the Department of Labor has begun issuing those supplemental stimulus payments as of Tuesday.

The payments are retroactive to March 29 and will go until July 25th.

If you’ve already been receiving benefits, you should get retroactive payments as a lump sum by the end of the week.

Michelle Cote asked us:

I have been unemployed since March 26, my claim has been processed and every week they hold my benefits. Why?

A: The Department of Labor says every claim is different and there may be many reasons why an account would be placed on hold. 

They ask everyone filing for unemployment to remember to file weekly through the green button on www.filectui.com to prevent an interruption in weekly payments.

Viewer Question: If I had an existing claim and it runs out, should I reapply or wait until the 13 week extension is ready?

A: The Department of Labor is still building the system that would allow for unemployment extensions. They expect the system to be finished in mid-May. People who are eligible will get a letter inviting them to apply for the extension. So, if you’ve run out of unemployment benefits- you should wait to reapply until you have been invited to do so.

Some people haven’t received any unemployment benefits, yet.

Q: Jim Rinaldi from Meriden asks: I wonder if the next time you get to ask questions to the DOL commissioner maybe you could find out why my wife filed 6 weeks ago and have heard NOTHING.

A: There could be a number of reasons why.

Nancy Steffans from the Department of Labor says: If it is filed as a temporary shutdown, the claim is processed next business day. If there is a quit or discharge separation, worked for the federal gov’t, military, another state employer, or other eligibility issues, it will take two weeks to process, then another three weeks for an adjudication hearing, and then a determination of eligibility.

Each claim is really case-by-case. Also, not all claims are payable. CTDOL is analyzing the claim activity, and would report about 80% percent of claims are payable at this time.  Again, not all claims are payable because of the laws.

Other scenarios why a person may have an issue:

- they have either not actually submitted their application and need to apply again.

- they have received UC-58 (monetary determination of ineligibility) and have the option to for an appeal and hearing.

- they have not seen their first or second email (maybe junk or spam) and have missed a deadline so they account was placed on hold.

- they have missed a filing week and were placed on hold

One of the very common errors that results in claims being placed on hold is the result of a claimant forgetting to file their weekly claim, or filing it incorrectly. As an integrity measure, the system is intentionally designed to hold a claim if there is no report of wages because it is interpreted as a change in the employment status of the individual. For instance, if they didn’t file that week, the system thinks they have gone back to work. We are then obligated to put a hold on the payment until we are able to confirm (manual determination) that they missed filing, or made an alternate mistake, prior to producing an overpayment if they are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits.  

If you have any questions about anything happening during the coronavirus pandemic, reach out to us at share61@fox61.com and we’ll answer your questions on air, online, and on the FOX61 News app.