Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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is Unemployment Insurance?
Unemployment Insurance is
temporary income for workers who are unemployed through no fault
of their own and who are either looking for new jobs, in
approved training, or awaiting recall to employment. The funding
for unemployment insurance benefits comes from taxes paid by
employers. Workers do not pay any of the costs. To qualify for
unemployment benefits, you must have earned sufficient wages
during a specified time (monetary eligibility). To collect
benefits, you must meet certain legal eligibility requirements.
are the basic eligibility requirements to apply for unemployment?
- Be fully or partially
- Be unemployed through no
fault of your own [the law imposes disqualifications for
certain types of separations from employment];
- Be physically and mentally
able to work full time*;
- Be available for full-time
- Be registered with the
American Job Center;
- Be actively seeking work
by making reasonable efforts to find employment each week;
- Participate in selected
reemployment services if you are identified as a dislocated
worker by the profiling system;
- File your weekly claims as
*Individuals who cannot work
because of a physical or mental impairment that is chronic or
expected to be long-term or permanent may qualify for benefits
if they are available for suitable part-time work.
to file and what to have?
A claim should be filed as soon as
possible after you are separated from employment. To ensure the
best possible customer service, the following call-in schedule
for individuals filing initial or reopened unemployment is now
- Mondays: callers with social
security numbers ending in numerals 0 through 3 can call the TeleBenefits "Dial to File" system.
- Tuesdays: callers with social
security numbers ending in numerals 0 through 6 can call the TeleBenefits "Dial to File" system.
- Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays:
callers with social security numbers ending in any numeral
(0-9) can call the TeleBenefits "Dial to File" system.
If Monday is a holiday
- Tuesdays: callers with social
security numbers ending in numerals 0 through 3 can call.
- Wednesdays: callers with social
security numbers ending in numerals 0 through 7 can call.
- Thursday through Friday: everyone
When to Call the
- File your weekly
Sunday, 12 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Monday through Friday, 6
a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (E.S.T.)
- File or resume
filing your initial (new) claim or reopen your claim:
through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (E.S.T.)
- All other inquiry
options, including employer information, are available 7
days/week, 24 hours/day.
- For your
convenience, customer service representatives are available
during normal business hours:
Please call the telephone
number listed that is within your local calling area. Directions
to the nearest
American Job Center located in these areas can be
obtained by the calling the number listed below.
TeleBenefits Phone Numbers
- Local Calling Areas
(860) 256-3900 (from in-state)
you live in the
North Thompson, Stafford Springs, Westport or Wilton
exchange, you may call the following toll-free number:
1-800-354-3305. This number is NOT
accessible statewide. It is only for the seven
above listed exchanges.
TDD/TTY Users Call:
Do not delay in filing a claim
if you do not have your separation packet which includes a pink
slip. Your claim will be taken without it. Your claim is
effective the Sunday of the week in which you first file for
benefits. Ordinarily, you do not get paid for the weeks prior to
the week you filed your initial claim.
Have your Social Security card
and separation packet, if one was provided. If you are
separating from the military, have separation form DD214,
Member-4. Federal employees should bring separation form SF-8
and a copy of their most recent pay stub. If you are not a US
citizen, you must have proof that you are work authorized
in the USA. Do not delay
filing a claim if you do not have these documents. Your claim
can be filed without them, with the exception of those claimants
that are required to provide proof of work authorization
documents in this country. However, there may be a delay in
payment until the document(s) are received.
can I file my unemployment insurance claim?
You may file a claim for benefits
by telephone, in English or Spanish. Claims for Unemployment
Compensation are now taken by telephone by calling the
TeleBenefits Line. If you file online, our web address is:
www.ct.gov/dol. Once you have established a claim, you
will file weekly claims online or by telephone. Those automated
systems provide eligibility information on Unemployment
Compensation Benefits, and will allow weekly filing of benefits
and provide information on the disposition of weekly continued
claims, once a new claim has been established.
How much will I get?
We look at wages for a 12-month
period that is called the Base Period. The time is the first
four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the
calendar quarter in which you initiated the 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. To determine if a person has sufficient wage
credits, the law requires that he or she must have total base
period earnings that equals or exceeds 40 times the Weekly
Benefit Rate. Normally, the maximum number of weeks of regular
benefits payable is 26.
wages are used in determining monetary eligibility?
Wages are drawn from a one-year period
(four calendar quarters) to calculate eligibility. This one-year
period is called the Base Period. By law, neither the quarter in
which your claim is initiated nor the calendar quarter
immediately preceding that quarter can be used for this
calculation. Therefore, the Base Period normally will be the
first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to
the effective date of the new claim.
your claim is effective with any Sunday in:
January, February, or March
The Base Period will be the first nine months
(Jan-Sept) of last year and the last three months (Oct-Dec)
of the year before last;
- If your claim is effective with
any Sunday in: April, May, or June
The Base Period will be all twelve months (Jan-Dec)
of last year;
- If your claim is effective with
any Sunday in:
July, August, or September
The Base Period will be the first three months of
the current year (Jan-Mar) and the last nine months
(Apr-Dec) of the last year;
- If your claim is effective with
any Sunday in: October, November, or December
The Base Period will be the first six months
(Jan-June) of the current year and last six months of the
will my part-time job affect my benefits?
If you are working part-time, your
Weekly Benefit Rate will be reduced by an amount equal to
two-thirds (2/3) of your gross wages for that week, rounded to
the nearest dollar. To be eligible for this payment the law
must be employed less than full-time; the number of hours
you are working during the week is less than the number of
hours customarily considered to be full-time for that job
- You must be able to work
and available for work as defined by law;
did not refuse additional hours.
will my Pension Benefits affect my benefits?
If you receive a pension, the law
requires that the Weekly Benefit Rate be reduced by the
pro-rated weekly amount of the pension that was contributed by
the employer . A pension reduction of the Weekly Benefit Rate
will increase the number of weeks for which Unemployment
Compensation Benefits can be paid. You must still be able,
available, and looking for full-time work to be eligible for
Unemployment Compensation Benefits.
If you are receiving a pension
at the time of your new claim, have your Social Security card
and documentation of the amount you are being paid when you
phone in your new claim. If you start receiving a pension after
your claim for unemployment has been filed, phone the
TeleBenefits Line when you actually receive your pension
benefits. Please have your Social Security card and
documentation of the amount of benefits you are receiving.
I quit my job and collect Unemployment Insurance Benefits?
The general rule is that a person
who voluntarily leaves suitable work without good cause,
attributable to the employer, is not eligible for benefits.
However, there are a few non job-related reasons for quitting
under which a person may be approved for benefits. These include
quitting to care for a spouse, child, or parent with an illness
or disability, and quitting to escape domestic violence.
For good cause to be attributable
to the employer, it must relate to the wages, hours, or working
conditions of the job. A change in conditions created by your
employer or a breach of your employment agreement which is
substantial and adversely affects you may be good cause to quit.
Also, if the job itself adversely affects your health or
aggravates or worsens a medical condition, it could be good
cause to quit.
Regardless of the cause, in
most cases, good cause attributable to the employer may only be
found if you took reasonable steps to inform your employer of
your dissatisfaction and sought to remedy the problem before you
left. If you quit, it is your burden to prove that there was
good cause for leaving. When applying for benefits, after
quitting a job, you will be scheduled to attend a
pre-determination hearing to establish whether you had good
cause for leaving. Your employer will be notified of this
hearing and will be invited to attend or to send in a written
10. I was just fired. Can I
collect Unemployment Insurance Benefits?
If you are fired or suspended, you
may be disqualified for benefits if the employer can prove one
of the following:
Willful misconduct in the course of your
employment. The term wilful misconduct means deliberate misconduct in
wilful disregard of the employer's interest, or a single knowing
violation of a reasonable and uniformly-enforced rule or policy of the
employer, when reasonably applied, provided such violation is not a
result of the employee's incompetence. In the case of absence from work,
an employee must be absent without notice or good cause on three
separate instances within a 12-month period;
Conduct which is a felony under the law and
occurred in the course of your employment;
Larceny of property or service whose value
exceeds $25 in the course of your employment;
Participation in a strike which is illegal
under law or regulations;
You were sentenced to a term of imprisonment
of 30 days or longer and had begun serving that sentence;
You were discharged or suspended because you
were disqualified by law from performing the job for which you were
hired as a result of a drug or alcohol testing program mandated by law;
If you are discharged, it is the employer's burden
to prove that there was wilful misconduct. When applying for benefits after
being discharged or suspended from a job you will be scheduled to attend a
pre-determination hearing to determine eligibility. Your employer will be
notified of this hearing and will be invited to attend or to send in a written
11. My boss is doing ...
can he/she do that?
The employer must pay you for work
you have performed and in accordance with any contract or
written policy. The employer can change the nature of a job in
accordance with any contracts or written policies. If you have
questions you can call the Connecticut Department of Labor
Assistance Center at (860) 263-6785. They can help answer your
12. I'm moving ... what can
I do about my Unemployment Insurance Benefits?
If you move out of Connecticut,
you may continue to file for Unemployment Compensation Benefits
from out of state. This is called an Interstate claim.
Connecticut will still be the paying state so you must continue
to meet all Connecticut eligibility requirements. The toll-free
number for the Interstate Claims Unit is 1-800-942-6653.
13. How do I file an
here to obtain information on filing an appeal.
14. What other unemployment
related programs are available?
(The Labor Department is not responsible
for accuracy of the information provided by the following
National School Lunch Program (Conn. State Department of
Children may become eligible for the free
lunch program upon a change in a parents' financial
I will soon exhaust my Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Are
there other services that may be helpful to me?
Contact United Way's 2-1-1 infoline program. This is a free
referral service, with information about workforce programs,
community services, basic needs assistance, crisis
intervention and much more. 2-1-1 is toll-free from anywhere
in Connecticut and it operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a
year. The service offers multilingual operators and TTY
access. You can reach this service by calling 2-1-1
or visit the United Way website at
If you haven’t been to one yet, visit a American Job Center. These Centers offer no-cost workshops, career
counselors, résumé assistance, computers with Internet
access, recruitment events, job postings, referrals and more
– all designed to help you with your job search. The Centers
can also see if you may be eligible for special training
programs, tax credits or employment services offered through
community groups. The Centers also offer recruitment events
for a list of scheduled employer recruitments.
CT.jobs, which provides a no-cost electronic job
bank. You can post your résumé, search for jobs, access
career sites, research companies, and review interview tips.
You can access CT JobCentral
Information regarding the Subsidized Training and Employment
Program (Step Up), summer and seasonal jobs at state
agencies that are open to all jobseekers, and the Veterans
Manufacturing Job Match program can be found on the main
page of the Labor Department’s web site at
200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000
State of Connecticut