Exploring Unemployment Benefits in Connecticut
In order to determine how much you will receive through your federal unemployment benefits, your wages for a 12-month period (base period) will be examined. The base period is drawn from the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the quarter in which you first began your claim. Applicants claiming unemployment benefits on or after January 5, 2003 who are unable to show financial eligibility for the base period will be able to use an alternate base period. Your alternate base period will consist of the four calendar quarters that immediately follow the quarter in which the claim was filed. In order to be eligible for a specific amount of benefits, the law requires that your total earnings during that base period equal 40 times the weekly benefit rate. In most cases, the maximum number of weeks you can receive unemployment benefits is 26 weeks, unless you are given an unemployment benefits extension during a time of high statewide unemployment.
Applying for Benefits in Connecticut
Claiming benefits for unemployment is a straightforward process that can either be completed online or over the phone. It is vital that you file a Connecticut unemployment benefits claim as soon as you are separated from your former means of employment. You do not need to wait for a pink slip or an unemployment package; your claim process can begin without these documents, and you can always add on the documents at a later date once you have received them. While you can begin your claim process without the documents, your payment process may be delayed until the documents are received. Still, it is important to file the claim as soon as possible, as federal unemployment benefits typically do not cover any time that falls before the date of a claim.
For more information on how to apply for a claim in Connecticut, along with the calling schedule for filing a claim over the phone, please review our “Apply” page.
How to Get and Maintain Eligibility for Unemployment in Connecticut
Once you have submitted your Connecticut unemployment benefits claim as well as the necessary information and documents for your application, your request will be assessed to determine whether or not you are eligible to claim unemployment benefits in CT. You will be required to attend a hearing during which your situation, documents, and testimony will be taken into consideration. Your former employer will also be notified so that he or she may attend this hearing or submit a formal statement regarding the reasons for your termination. Your employer’s testimony and statements will also be considered in your application process.
If you are accepted into the federal unemployment benefits program, you will be required to file weekly claims following your initial claim. Filing can be completed either online or over the phone. However, to continue claiming benefits for unemployment, you must continue to meet the following requirements:
• You must be physically and mentally able to work full time.
• You must be either fully or partially unemployed.
• You must be able to take on full-time work.
• You must continue to actively seek out new job opportunities on a weekly basis.
• If a reemployment service is assigned, you must actively participate in the service.
• You must continue to file weekly claims.
Failure to maintain these requirements may result in a termination of benefits.
Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Tax in Connecticut
Beneficiaries can alter the amount of federal unemployment benefits they receive by having taxes withheld from their payments. Doing so makes tax season more manageable, since, if you do receive unemployment compensation during the year, you must include it in your gross income when filing your taxes. If you do not withhold, you may be required to make quarterly estimated tax payments.