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Connecticut DOL Issues Reminder on Work Search Requirement, Releases COVID-19 Unemployment Stats

  • Connecticut Department of Labor reminds unemployment claimants of work search requirement being restored next week
  • Starting on July 7, claimants must provide record showing that they are looking for work in order to receive benefits
  • Connecticut has disbursed $9 billion in unemployment benefits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The Connecticut Department of Labor is reminding residents that a work search requirement for unemployment claimants will be restored next week, and that supplemental federal unemployment benefits will end in September. The department also released updated data on unemployment benefits, saying $9 billion has been disbursed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interim DOL Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo issued the reminder that unemployment claimants must report their work search activity when filing their weekly certification starting on July 7. This information should include the contact information of the company where the claimant submitted an application as well as a record of any job training or related activities. Bartolomeo recommends that claimants preserve their June work search records in case of an audit.

  • Bartolomeo suggests that now is a good time for people to find opportunities if they are out of work or seeking a career change, as many businesses are desperate for workers and Governor Ned Lamont has established a $1,000 bonus for long-term unemployed residents who are able to find and retain a job
  • Several federal unemployment programs set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are set to expire on Sept. 4 and are unlikely to be reauthorized due to improving economic and public health conditions
  • Since March 13, 2020 Connecticut has paid $4.4 billion through the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program offering a supplemental unemployment benefit of $300 a week, as well as $4.2 billion in other benefits and $366 million in Lost Wages Assistance
  • The Connecticut DOL has received more than 1.5 million unemployment applications since the start of the pandemic, representing “about 10 years of applications received over one year”
  • The state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund currently has $247 million, and Connecticut has borrowed $725 million to keep it solvent during the pandemic
  • About 170,000 people in Connecticut are collecting unemployment benefits; this figure has been trending down, and the state’s unemployment rate is currently at 7.7 percent

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