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Reminder: Oct. 5 Brings Increase To Maximum Unemployment Insurance Benefit

For immediate release
September 25, 2008

WETHERSFIELD, The maximum Unemployment Insurance benefit increases to $519 per week from the current $501, effective Oct. 5, State Labor Commissioner Patricia H. Mayfield reminds Connecticut’s workforce.

The new rate applies to claims filed for the benefit year starting on and after Oct. 5, 2008. Individuals who established a claim prior to the Oct. 5 date and who have been collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits will be unaffected by the increase. The weekly dependency allowance for each dependent, at $15 with a maximum of $75, remains unchanged.  

The revision of the maximum weekly unemployment benefit is based on average manufacturing wages for the year ending June 30, 2008. An increase is limited by law to $18 a year – or 60 percent of the average wage – whichever is less. In 2007-2008, those earnings averaged a record $891.59 weekly, up from the 2006-2007 average of $852.45 per week. The statutory limitation kept the increase this year to $18.

For the 12 months ending Aug. 31, jobless benefits averaged $302 per week and claimants received an average 16.3 weeks of compensation. A year earlier, weekly benefit payments averaged $293 for an average of 16.3 weeks. 
Regular state unemployment benefits are funded by a separate assessment paid by 98,687 Connecticut employers. The tax is based on the first $15,000 of each worker's annual wage.

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535

200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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