HARTFORD, Conn. — FOX61 has received many of emails from viewers looking for help navigating COVID-19 related issues with the Connecticut Department of Labor.
Many people are experiencing the same frustrations, so we have created this page where you can find the latest DOL updates and resources to assist you manage your claims.
First, if you don’t have access to the internet or have an impairment that prevents you from filing yourself, you can call the DOL. The department set up additional numbers to assist.
The numbers are:
- (860) 263-6974
- (860) 263-6975
- (203) 455-2653.
- (203) 720-6905
- (203) 720-6931
PEUC benefit extension program
The Department of Labor is adding its last program to the mix as more than half a million unemployment claims were filed in the state since mid-March.
The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation is the last federal program the CTDOL had to set up under the Federal CARES act.
PEUC is a 13- week unemployment extension for people who have already exhausted their benefits.
DOL Commissioner Kurt Westby said during a weekly briefing that 71,000 potential claimants could expect to receive letters soon, as they were going out Friday, May 22. The letters will include instructions on what to do and how to file, Westby said.
The program will go live on Tuesday, May 26 for the actual filing at filectui.com.
The green tab on that website will now include the PEUC app and the weekly $600 app.
According to Commissioner Westby, 119,000 jobs were lost during the entire 2008-2010 recession and it took 10 years to replace 99,000 of those jobs.
In April alone, that state doubled that number.
The DOL has received a total of 544,000 unemployment benefits applications to date. 507,000 have been processed, officials said,
State servers were down Tuesday and into Wednesday of the week of May 18, which prevented phone access internally, working computers and transfers for banking.
Locked out of your CT unemployment account?
The Department of Labor says they are seeing this pop up often.
They are flagging these accounts and going into them manually to make sure the claim is properly processed. They say they are going through 500-1,000 accounts a day to fix this issue. They are reminding people to check your spam and junk folders in your email for correspondence from them.
Received an overpayment?
Nancy Steffens from the DOL 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."
Filing for unemployment in Connecticut if you are self-employed
Self-employed or "gig" workers should file through Connecticut's unemployment system at filectui.com.
The CT DOL outlines a two-step process for the self-employed.
Step 1: File a regular state claim at filectui.com and click on the blue button to file. Self-employed individuals who have already file an application through this system should not file again. The DOL already has claims and is asking you not to file a duplicate claim.
After filing, you should receive the following email (check your spam folder as well):
“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."
Expect a second email from the CT DOL that says: “Your claim for benefits has been processed! If this is a new claim then we are sending information regarding your claim via US mail.”
Now it's time to wait for your mail. The Department of Labor will send you a UC-58.
Step 2: Go back to filectui.com and click on the "PUA button".
Through that red button you will be able to fill out the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program application.
Applicants will need:
- 2019 IRS forms
- 2019 W-2s
- Schedule C.
- 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 February 2, 2020.
Check out our You Ask, We Answer segment on-air for more answers.
If you still have questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or text us at 860-527-6161.