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A Guide to Your Rights & Responsibilities When Claiming Unemployment Benefits in Connecticut
How To Apply For Unemployment Insurance

Starting A Basic New Claim

To apply for Unemployment Insurance, you must complete an initial (or new) claim by telephone.  A claim should be filed with the Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) TeleBenefits Line as soon as you are separated from employment.  A claim for benefits is effective (begins) with the Sunday of the week in which you call in your claim.  Information about you, your dependents and your work history is recorded and used by the CTDOL to establish your claim. It is very important that the information provided is accurate.  All correspondence, including benefit checks, is mailed to the address that you provide.  There are penalties for making false statements to obtain benefits.  The information you provide is subject to verification. 

Your  benefit amounts are based on your earnings in covered employment in a base period which consists of the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the date of your claim.   Commencing with benefit years effective on or after January 5, 2003, individuals who cannot establish monetary eligibility using wages in the previously described base period will use an alternate base period.  The alternate base period consists of the four calendar quarters immediately preceding the quarter in which the claim is filed. Your AWEEKLY BENEFIT RATE@ is 1/26 of the average of the two highest quarters during the base period, but cannot exceed the maximum benefit rate established by law.  For construction workers, the weekly benefit rate is 1/26 of the highest quarter in the base period.  In either case, your total base period earnings must equal at least 40 times your weekly benefit rate in order to qualify for benefits. 

A Adependency allowance@ for an eligible dependent is $15.00 each week.  Total dependency allowances cannot be paid for more than five dependents ($75), and may never exceed your weekly benefit rate. 

Besides having sufficient wages in your base period to establish a weekly benefit rate, another key element in determining your eligibility for benefits is your reason for being unemployed.  All employers are legally required to provide a form UC-61 AUnemployment Notice,@ commonly known as a Apink slip@ and an attached packet AApplication for Unemployment Benefits,@ whenever a worker becomes unemployed for any reason.  The pink slip contains the employer=s stated reason for your unemployment (for example, laid off for lack of work, voluntarily left, discharged).  The application packet contains information about how to file a new claim by telephone, the questions you will be asked and any special information you should have available when you call.  The application packet (English and Spanish) is  available to download from the Web site. 

Do not delay filing your claim if your employer has not or will not issue you such a notice.  YOU SHOULD CALL TO FILE YOUR CLAIM IMMEDIATELY.  Benefits will not be paid retroactively for weeks preceding the filing of your claim unless it is established through a hearing process that good cause for late filing exists.

The information provided to the Connecticut Department of Labor for the purpose of establishing a claim for Unemployment Compensation Benefits, including your Social Security Number. May be subject to verification through computer matching programs, according to agreements with other Federal, State or Local, government agencies.

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