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Connecticut Unemployment Eligibility

Connecticut Unemployment Benefits

Connecticut Unemployment Eligibility Calculator

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How to qualify for CT unemployment benefits

Connecticut unemployment insurance benefits are meant to assist people who do not currently have a job. However, there are specific criteria set by the CT Department of Labor that must be met in order to qualify for these benefits.

The state looks at a variety of factors to decide who can receive benefits. This includes:

  • Your earnings for the 12-18 months before filing for benefits
  • The reason for your job separation
  • Whether you’re able and available to work
  • Your efforts to find new employment

Monetary eligibility requirements

When you file an unemployment claim, the money you receive each week depends on how much you earned in a 12-month time frame called the base period. The base period consists of the first four out of the last five calendar quarters before applying for benefits, though the department may opt to qualify you under an alternate base period if necessary. The alternate base period typically reviews your wages during the four calendar quarters worked before filing for benefits.

The money you made during your base period determines how much financial assistance you are eligible to receive while unemployed.

To meet Connecticut’s wage requirements, you must have earned at least 40 times your weekly benefit amount during your base period. This means that if your weekly benefit amount is $200, you must have earned at least $8,000.

Wage credits

A wage credit is any income you earn from an employer that paid unemployment taxes. Wage credits are crucial because it is the only income reviewed in your base period. Income from other sources, such as self-employed revenue, gig work, contract work, and commissions do not qualify.

You can figure out how much money you might receive each week for unemployment benefits by using the Connecticut Unemployment Calculator.

Non-monetary UI benefit eligibility requirements

Unemployment insurance benefits are meant for people who are currently without a job due to no fault of their own. You also need to be ready and able to find full-time work. This means you must meet the state’s work search requirement by making a reasonable effort to find new job opportunities.

To find out if you are eligible for UI benefits in Connecticut, you will need to fill out an application and provide information about yourself and your past employers.

How many weeks of Connecticut unemployment do I qualify for?

Unemployed workers in Connecticut can receive up to 26 weeks of benefits over a one-year period, though Extended Benefits may be offered during periods of high unemployment or after a natural disaster.

Maintaining Eligibility

After you have applied for unemployment benefits, it is crucial to file a weekly claim to receive your payment. This involves documenting details about any work you did and the amount of money you earned during that week.

Moreover, it is important to keep a record of the steps you took to find a new full-time job throughout the week. In Connecticut, you must engage in at least three new work search activities to demonstrate that you are actively seeking new employment.

If you don’t submit your weekly claim certification on time, it may cause a delay or denial of your unemployment benefits.

What is considered “suitable work?”

Suitable work refers to employment opportunities that are considered reasonable and appropriate based on a variety of factors, including your skills, experience, education, and previous employment history.

Suitable work is generally defined as jobs that are similar to your previous occupation and that you are capable of performing. However, what is considered suitable work can vary depending on the circumstances, such as your unique skills and qualifications, the local job market, and the prevailing industry standards.

The determination of suitable work is made on a case-by-case basis by the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Can I work part-time and receive benefits?

Yes, it is possible to work part-time and still receive unemployment benefits in Connecticut. The CT DOL offers a partial unemployment benefits program that allows you to receive a portion of your unemployment benefits while working part-time.

The amount of benefits you receive will depend on your earnings from your part-time job and how it compares to your weekly benefit amount. It’s important to report your part-time earnings in an accurate and timely manner to the Connecticut Department of Labor to ensure you receive the appropriate benefits.

Do I qualify for unemployment if I am self-employed?

To qualify for unemployment benefits, you must be physically and mentally able to work, actively searching for a suitable job, and willing to accept employment opportunities. If it is determined that your self-employment prevents you from meeting these requirements, you may not be eligible for benefits.

It’s worth mentioning that income earned from self-employment and independent contractor work will not be considered when reviewing your base period. This means that the money you make from being self-employed will not be used when calculating your weekly benefit amount.

What would disqualify me from the Connecticut UI benefit program?

Several factors can potentially disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits in Connecticut. Some common disqualifications include:

  1. Voluntary job separation: If you quit your job without good cause or were terminated due to misconduct, you may be disqualified from receiving benefits.
  2. Refusal of suitable work: If you refuse a suitable job offer without a valid reason, you may be disqualified from benefits.
  3. Inadequate work history: You need to have earned enough wages in your base period to qualify for benefits. Insufficient work history may disqualify you.
  4. Self-employment: Generally, self-employed individuals are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, although specific Extended Benefits programs, like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide support for self-employed individuals.
  5. Receiving certain types of income: If you receive income that exceeds the amount allowed by the Connecticut Department of Labor, it may disqualify you from receiving benefits during that period.
  6. Not actively seeking employment: It is essential to actively search for suitable employment opportunities and provide evidence of your job search activities. Failure to do so may disqualify you from benefits.

If you are denied benefits, you have the right to file an appeal and protest the decision.

What can affect my claim for benefits?

Anything that makes it difficult for you to work or accept a full-time job could impact your eligibility for benefits. Situations like losing childcare, going to school, traveling, getting sick, or starting your own business are all examples of situations that can interfere with your availability to work. If any of these situations apply to you, it’s crucial to notify the Connecticut Department of Labor right away. Failure to report complete, accurate information is a form of CT unemployment fraud.

Furthermore, your weekly benefit amount may be reduced if you earn wages or receive income from other sources, like part-time work, severance pay, or retirement income.

When do I no longer qualify for Connecticut unemployment benefits?

Once you secure a new job, start making more money than your weekly benefit amount, or use up all your available benefits, you won’t be eligible for unemployment compensation anymore. In these cases, you no longer need to continue filing weekly claims.

  1. Ok so i was hired part-time for about 20 hours a week. After peak there was a drastic cut in hours, 4-9 hours a week. I applied for UI for partial but due to the pandemic i lost my babysitter, and I have no one else to be home with my children, so I got fired a week after i submitted my claim. My claim is pending non monetary decision. Is it possible to collect?

  2. My job reduced my hours due to lack of work so I filed for unemployment. Do I say I quit or they laid me off temporarily? I’m already receiving benefits but now they’re asking why I stopped working to continue to receive benefits..

  3. I live in NY and was just laid off from my job in Connecticut. Do I file for unemployment in NY or CT? Thanks.

    • Noelle,

      Please apply from the state where your employment was based since they would have remitted Unemployment Taxes from the state of employment.

  4. My school / employment is closing for a week in preparation for fall enrollment..Am I eligible to claim benefits for that week? I am full time employee.

    • Dawn,

      I am not sure if you will qualify for temp. off from work. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office in your state for more.

  5. I’m a driver. I get a daily work schedule for the next day. Company pays daily rate plus mileage and piece count for delivery. During school vacation the company experiences a dramatic slowdown. 2/3 of drivers won’t have a route.
    Sometimes I may not be on schedule and receive no route for the day.
    Company offers to pay for flat daily rate with no incentives but wants me to come in and stand around for the 8hrs. But not to be seen doing nothing.
    Can I collect under work slowdowns?

    • Juan,

      Does your school remit unemployment taxes into the system? If “Yes”, you can be eligible. Please check internally.

      • I don’t work for a school. I work for a food service distributor. It’s a private company.
        School food service contracts are about 70% of the companies business.

        • Juan,

          Thank you for the clarification. In that case, please check with your employer if they remit unemployment taxes into the system and apply accordingly.

  6. I work for a company that landscapes in the warmer months and plows/shovel snow in the winter months. Last year Connecticut had very little snow, and I worked maybe 5 or 6 times in 6 months.
    Do I qualify to collect unemployment when I have very few paid days in the winter?

    • Lynda,

      Seasonal workers do not generally qualify to receive UI benefits. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarity.

  7. We hired an employee for a seasonal position that lasted 18 weeks. He was told only temporary. He feels he can claim unemployment benefits? I thought if temp they were not eligible for benefits?

    • Erika,

      That is correct. Temp workers are generally not eligible unless you’re remitting Unemployment taxes. You may reach out to the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  8. I work in construction. The project I am on is coming to an end and I expect to be laid off. It started in May. I am currently on social security. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    • Tim,

      If your employment is termed “seasonal”, you may not qualify to receive UI compensation. You may check with your employer if they paid unemployment taxes into the system and apply accordingly.

    • Marie,

      The employee is not eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  9. If I will start receiving a pension benefit from my employer who just eliminated my job position does this mean I am no longer eligible for unemployment benefits? Thank you.

    • Marianne,

      You should be eligible for UI benefits if you continue seeking employment. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  10. I worked in Connecticut Sept. 2017-November 2017. Got laid off. Can I draw unemployment through Connecticut.

    • Lonnie,

      To qualify for UI benefits, the claimant is required to have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website for more.

  11. I went from a pretty much full time job to working less than 10 hrs due to slow season. I started this job in march 2017. Prior to that i was collecting unemployment for the 26 weeks and prior to that i was on workers comp for nearly 2 yrs due to an injury in 2015. Will I be eligible to collect partial unemployment until work picks up again in the Spring?

    • To be eligible to draw UI benefits, the applicant is required to have active employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility on the basis of your background.

  12. I was laid off last year march 2015 – I collected for 6 months , I have applied to over 80 jobs and still unemployed, is there an extension I am still eligible for.

    • Please note there is no federal extension available.

      You can call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  13. If severence pay is higher per week then unemployment benefits are you entitled to unemployment benefits ?

  14. I left work in 2007 due to health issues that worsened may health. Can I still apply for unemployment?

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