How to Apply for Unemployment in Connecticut

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 17, 2021 - First published on March 26, 2020

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Lost your job during the COVID-19 crisis? This is what you need to know before you claim unemployment in Connecticut.

Lost your job during the COVID-19 crisis? This is what you need to know before you claim unemployment in Connecticut.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already impacted millions of Americans' paychecks. If you've lost your job or have seen your hours cut, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. If you live in Connecticut, this is what you need to know.

Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Connecticut, you need to meet these requirements:

  • Be either fully or partially unemployed
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own (you can't have been fired for cause)
  • Be available to work, and willing to work
  • Be registered with the American Job Center
  • Be engaged in a job search
  • Have enough earnings from your base period. If you're applying for benefits in March 2020, your base period is October 2018 through September 2019, and you'll need to have earned $6,080 or more during that time to qualify.

How do I apply for unemployment benefits?

You can apply for unemployment benefits online via the Connecticut Department of Labor. 

You'll need to provide information that includes:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your separation packet provided by your employer, if one was provided
  • Form DD-214 if you're separating from the military
  • Form SF-8 if you're a former federal employee

How much money will I receive in unemployment benefits?

Your weekly unemployment benefit will be calculated by taking one twenty-sixth (1/26) of the average total wages paid to you during your two highest-paid quarters from your base period. If your highest quarter showed wages of $6,000, and your second-highest quarter showed wages of $5,000, you'd take the average -- $5,500 -- and then divide that by 26 to arrive at a weekly benefit of $212. That said, Connecticut has a maximum weekly benefit of $649.

You have two options for receiving your weekly benefits: direct deposit into your checking or savings account, or via a debit card that's issued to you.

How long can I collect unemployment benefits?

The maximum number of weeks you can receive full unemployment benefits is 26 weeks. However, the CARES Act extends that period by 13 weeks, allowing you to collect unemployment benefits for up to 39 weeks.

What if my unemployment claim is denied?

If your unemployment benefits claim is denied, you can file an appeal online. You should file your appeal within 21 days of having your initial claim rejected. 

File as soon as you can

The sooner you sign up for unemployment benefits, the sooner that money will start hitting your bank account. And that could prove essential when your bills start coming due. However, remember that your unemployment benefits won't replace your entire paycheck, so if you need assistance covering your expenses, don't hesitate to reach out for help.

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