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Labor Department Remains Open During Upcoming State Holidays for Filing UI Claims

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            

February 11, 2010

 

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the state Department of Labor’s Call Centers for filing unemployment insurance claims will remain open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on two state holidays in February.

 

“Despite some early signs of improvement in the economy, our state continues to struggle with record unemployment levels – and we continue to do all we can to help those struggling to find jobs,” Governor Rell said. “Each week approximately $60 million in benefits are being provided to more than 160,000 unemployed people. By providing this service on the holidays that mark the birthdays of two great presidents, I believe we are honoring their legacies by assisting the residents of our state.”

 

Currently, the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Call Centers are operating extended hours, with staff assisting claimants from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays. The Saturday hours were recently added to help handle the extraordinary volume of claims, which are approximately 40 percent higher than at this time last year.

 

To further assist claimants, earlier this year Governor Rell ordered additional improvements to the filing system, including major upgrades to the Internet-based process for filing initial and continuing claims and expansion of the telephone-based portion of the filing system.

 

With five additional servers to speed up the Web-based filing system and more phone lines installed, on a recent Sunday – the busiest filing day of the week – nearly 53,000 continued claims were filed via the Web and more than 72,000 were filed by telephone.

 

“Complaints have turned into compliments and claimants are letting us know that they can file their claim quickly on line,” Governor Rell said. “On-line filers are now able to complete their transactions in as little as one or two minutes, while the wait time on the phone has decreased to an average of six minutes.”

 

Individuals filing for unemployment can use either the agency’s TeleBenefits phone system or the WebBenefits online system. Information can be found on the Labor Department’s Web site at www.ct.gov/dol. Those filing a continued claim often do not need to speak to a customer service representative and can file by phone or online, without assistance, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 12 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays.

 

"Losing a job not only means the loss of a paycheck – on an emotional level, it represents one of the most difficult times in one’s life,” Governor Rell said. “While my goal has always been to keep and grow as many jobs as possible in this state, the sad reality is that we are facing an economic crisis across the nation. With so many individuals depending on a benefit check to help pay for basic necessities such as housing, fuel and food, the extra operating hours and new technology upgrades offer a welcome helping hand for those residents struggling to recover from a job loss.”

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535


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

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