COVID-19 Update: Unemployment Assistance Now Available for the Self-Employed

Posted on May 8, 2020 by admin


COVID-19 Update:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Latest News from the Governor’s Office, and More

Unemployment Assistance

The Connecticut Department of Labor (CT DOL) has announced that the full application (steps one and two) for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is now available. PUA is unemployment assistance for self-employed individuals and others who are not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits through the state.

Here is a brief summary of the two-step process to apply for PUA:

  • Step One: Pursuant to Federal guidelines, self-employed individuals, including independent contractors and “gig” workers, are required to first apply through the Connecticut unemployment system. This can be done by selecting the “blue button”. See graphic below.
  • Step Two: Before proceeding to this step, applicants must receive a determination notice (UC-58) in the mail from the Connecticut Department of Labor prior to accessing and applying for benefits under the newly-designed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. When you receive the determination notice, you may then proceed to step two using the “red button”. (See graphic again for illustration).

CT DOL encourages claimants to select “direct deposit” for their payment method if possible. This will expedite the process. You can set up direct deposit by selecting the “green button”.

Click here to begin the process or click on the image below.

Here is an FAQ document from CT DOL detailing PUA and other unemployment assistance programs: Click Here

Updates from the Governor’s Office

Major Expansion of COVID-19 Testing

The state’s Department of Public Health (DPH) has suspended a regulation, which previously required patients to obtain a referral from their medical provider in order to be tested for COVID-19. Now, residents will be able to access COVID-19 testing on their own. Governor Lamont has also issued a new executive order (7KK), which allows pharmacies to administer FDA-approved COVID-19 tests. These actions were taken to increase access to testing for all Connecticut residents, especially those in underserved communities.

Click here to read more.

Free Advisory Support for Student Loan Borrowers

Many college students and recent graduates have struggled financially since the COVID-19 crisis began. The governor announced today that Summer, a social enterprise that assists student loan borrowers, is providing Connecticut residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with free assistance managing their student loans.

Click here to read more.

Recommendations for Phased Reopening of CT Colleges/Universities

Members of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group’s education committee have submitted recommendations to the governor for the reopening of the state’s colleges and universities. According to the announcement, institutions will be able to reopen this fall, including residential facilities, assuming health conditions continue to improve. How this is done will ultimately be at the discretion of each school.

Click here to read more.

Reminder: K-12 Public Schools to Remain Closed for Academic Year

As a reminder, all in-person K-12 classes at Connecticut public schools will remain cancelled for the 2019-2020 academic year. Distance learning will continue. Schools will also be required to continue providing meals to children under the school lunch and breakfast programs for consumption at home, as they have been throughout this emergency. According to the governor and Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye, summer camps will be allowed to open this summer under very specific guidelines. Those guidelines have not yet been released, but I will forward that information as soon as it becomes available. Information about summer school programs will also be forthcoming.

Click here to read more.


  • CTAlerts: To subscribe, text the key word COVIDCT to 888-777

  • News from the governor’s office: Click Here

  • FAQ Document: Click Here

  • Governor’s COVID-19 Executive Orders affecting… ​

Relief for Small Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has resumed accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This program allows small businesses to apply for loans with a maturity of two years and a one percent interest rate. SBA notes that these loans are forgivable provided the employers keep all employees on payroll at the same pay/salary level for eight weeks, and provided the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. At least 75 percent of the forgiven amount must be used for payroll.

Click here to read more.

Additional Resources

As a reminder, these are the best regularly updated resources from global, federal, state, and local governments and agencies:


World Health Organization: Click Here


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Click Here


State of Connecticut Web Portal: Click Here


Town of New Canaan: Click Here

Town of Wilton: Click Here

Latest COVID-19 Data for CT

  • Confirmed Statewide COVID-19 Cases: 31,784

  • Patients Currently Hospitalized Statewide with COVID-19: 1,385

  • Confirmed Statewide COVID-19 Fatalities: 2,797

  • Confirmed Fairfield County Cases: 12,679

  • Confirmed Fairfield County Fatalities: 977

  • Confirmed New Canaan Cases: 147

  • Confirmed Wilton Cases: 165

Click here to read more.

Latest Nursing Home Data: Click Here

Latest Assisted Living Data: Click Here

This data is accurate as of May 6, 2020.

As always, I will provide more updates as I receive new information. Please reach out to me if you have questions or concerns about the state and local response to the COVID-19 crisis, or any state government matter. I am more than happy to speak with you directly, provide more information if possible, and to serve as a resource for you and your families.






State Representative Tom O’Dea

125th General Assembly District

New Canaan & Wilton