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COVID-19 Unemployment Insurance Update and How to Avoid Errors in Your Application

Posted on June 15, 2020


While Connecticut continues to ease its COVID-19 restrictions, I still regularly hear from many constituents about their unemployment claims through the Dept. of Labor (DOL) and their challenges with those claims. Over the past three months, my role as state representative has been transformed as I respond to these inquiries around-the-clock.

I am writing with some updates on the Dept. of Labor’s claims processing, as well as some tips on how to avoid errors in your application and get your unemployment insurance faster.

Unemployment Claims Status Update from DOL

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, DOL has provided over $1.8 billion in benefits: $672 million in state benefits; $1.135 billion in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation; and $37 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Over 530,000 of the approximately 565,000 claim applications received have been processed.

As of Friday, June 12, about 26,000 applications from May 22 are in the processing stage, while 16,000 are held for the verification process.

How To Avoid Errors and Delays in Your Application

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

PUA is a federal program designed to provide unemployment benefits for those not eligible for the state’s standard unemployment insurance: self-employed, independent contractors, those seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or federal law or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

There are between 70,000 and 80,000 in the PUA system.

If you are in the PUA system, it is critically important that your personal information is accurate when making your weekly communication with DOL. Many claimants have been locked out of the system by inputting incorrect personal information. The DOL system is designed to perform in this manner to prevent fraud and identity theft.

These user errors are commonly accidental keystrokes, which result in a week-long delay to unlock your account.

Please note: all personal information must be consistent each week. Your weekly reporting is the most critical five minutes that you spend to ensure that you remain in the system.

If you are an employer, this keystroke issue is equally important. If you submit incorrect information on behalf of an employee, then that person’s claim will be delayed or result in rejection.

We are working hard to get these matters and others cleared on a daily basis. Delays in our ability to troubleshoot your claim with DOL are because we aren’t getting a DOL turnaround as quickly as we’d like–due in part to DOL’s high claim volume.

Report Errors to DOL

Report individual issues or errors with your claim via DOL’s “Quick Click” section of their website.

If You Have Already Filed a Claim

It is very important to check your email (including junk and spam folders) daily for updated messages from DOL.

Messages may include next steps or a request that claimants log back onto their claim since following these instructions will help speed up processing.