A Guide to Your Rights & Responsibilities When Claiming Unemployment Benefits in Connecticut

A Guide to Your Rights &
    Responsibilities When Claiming
 Unemployment Benefits in Connecticut

        Llame a la Línea de TeleBenefits o visite
      Su officina local del Departamento de Trabajo

You are responsible for understanding the information
in this booklet. Please read this information carefully
to learn procedures for filing claims, eligibility
requirements for benefits and the appeals process.

              Job Search Assistance - Page 1
                    Visit our Web site
To the Unemployment Insurance Claimant

Thank you for calling the Connecticut Department of Labor Unemployment
Insurance TeleBenefits Line or filing for benefits on our Web site. We are
sending you this booklet to provide you with information concerning your
Unemployment Insurance claim. It is your responsibility to read this
booklet carefully as it explains your benefit rights.

This booklet will give you a better understanding of procedures for filing
claims, for determining eligibility for benefits, and for filing appeals. We want
to be as helpful as possible in seeing that every eligible person receives
full benefits and is paid promptly.

The automated initial claims process and weekly claims system will allow
you to:

•        file your claim from the privacy of your home telephone
•        file your claim at your convenience
•        save time by not having to travel to file in person
•        save time by not having to stand or wait in lines

You are invited to visit our CTWorks Career Centers for assistance in
finding a job. In addition, you maybe contacted to report to a Career
Center in order to review your eligibility for benefits. For more information
on services available in Career Centers, see page 1 in this booklet, or you
may access our Web site at:


We have every expectation that you will find our automated filing system
to be a convenient and efficient experience.

The Unemployment Insurance TeleBenefits Line is separate from the
Career Centers. Its purpose is to accept and complete new and reopened
claims for benefits filed by telephone, process weekly telephone claims and
answer any questions regarding unemployment benefits.

UC-288 (Rev. 11/09)

CTWorks CAREER CENTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Basic Eligibility Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Who is Protected by Unemployment Insurance? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Your Legal Right to File a Claim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Your Reason for Being Unemployed - Are Benefits Allowable? . . . . . 7
Availability for Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Reasonable Efforts to Find Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Enhanced Re-employment Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Reasons Your Weekly Benefits may be Reduced or Denied . . . . . . . 18
Self-Employment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Educational Employment/Professional Athletes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
What If Your Eligibility for Benefits Is Questioned?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Appeal Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Overpayment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Qualifying For a Second Benefit Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 23
Benefits are Taxable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Federal Earned Income Tax Credit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 25
Quality Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Combined Wage Claim - Work in More than One State . . . . . . . . . . 25
Moving from Connecticut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Ex-Federal Employees (UCFE) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
State and Municipal Employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 27
Ex-Military (UCX) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Non-U.S. Citizens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Dislocated Workers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
GUIDE TO USING THE TELEBENEFITS LINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Filing Your Weekly Continued Claim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Who May Use the TeleBenefits Line? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
When to Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
How to Access the TeleBenefits Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
If You Change Your Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
If a Check is Lost/Stolen/Damaged . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
When You Return to Full-Time Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
What About Part-Time Work? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Five Choices (Options) Available on the TeleBenefits Line . . . . . . . ..35
OFFICES OF THE APPEALS DIVISION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
TELEBENEFITS TELEPHONE NUMBERS . . . . . . . . . . . . Back Cover

CT WORKS Career Center     PHONE          MAILING ADDRESS

bridgeport               (203) 455-2700    2 lafayette square
2 lafayette square		bridgeport, ct	 06604-6001

danbury                  (203) 731-2929    4 LIBERTY st
4 LIBERTY STst		danbury, ct	                                  06810-6361

danielson                (860) 412-7000    95 westcott rd
95 westcott rd		danielson, ct	                                06239-2942

enfield                  (860) 741-4295    620 enfield st
620 enfield st		enfield, CT                                   06082-2465

hamden                   (203) 859-3200    37 marne st
37 marne st		hamden, ct	                                      06514-3693

hartford                 (860) 256-3700    3580 main st
3580 main st		hartford, ct	                                   06120-9942

meriden                  (203) 238-6148    85 West Main St
85 West Main St		meriden, ct	                                 06451-4141

middletown               (860) 754-5000    645 south main st
645 south main st		middletown, ct	 06457-4562

new britain              (860) 827-6200    260 lafayette st
260 lafayette st		new britain, ct	 06053-4132

new london               (860)439-7400	shaw’s cove six
shaw’s cove six		new london, ct	 06320-4969

norwich                  (860) 859-5600	north building, suite 200
113 Salem turnpike		norwich, ct	                                  06360

torrington               (860) 496-3300    689 main st
kmart plaza		                              kmart plaza
		torrington, ct	 06790-2933

waterbury                (203) 437-3380    249 thomaston ave
249 thomaston ave.		waterbury, ct	                            06702-1010

willimantic   (860) 465-2120  1320 main st
               (860) 786-6200
1320 main st		willimantic, ct	 06226-1940
Visit the Department of Labor at
         your local CTWorks Career Center

CTWorks Career Centers

At a Department of Labor office located at your local CTWorks Center,
job seekers can learn to create a résumé, brush up on interview
and networking skills, develop an education program to launch a
new career, find solid job leads, and get the tools, information and
support they need to conduct their own job search or make a career

With offices statewide, we bring job seekers together with potential
employers through easy access to a wide variety of job and career
information services.

We register individuals for employment by gathering important information
about skills, education, background and employment history. Counseling,
testing or job training may be appropriate before referral to jobs.

We also have representatives who assist military veterans, persons
with disabilities, youth, older workers and others with special needs.
The Federal Bonding program may be able to assist ex-offenders and
individuals with other problems who may have difficulty in finding a job
because employers will not or cannot hire without some assurance or
protection against possible loss.

The CTWorks Career Centers feature these services:

Self Service and Career Resource Areas
• Job Listings
• Newspapers
• Phones, fax, copier
• Computers
• Internet access, word processing
• Resource information, books, videos
• Information on education and skills training
• Information and referral to other support services
• Information on employment, wage and economic trends

Workshops Include:

         •   Job Search Skills
    		   •   Networking
    		   •   Résumé Writing
    		   •   Skills Identification
    		   •   Internet Job Search
    		   •   Career Exploration
    		   •   Interviewing Techniques
    		   •   Overcoming Age Barriers

Schedules and registration for workshops are available on our Web site
at www.ct.gov/dol or contact the center nearest you.

Department of Labor Web Site

Our Web site, www.ct.gov/dol offers a wealth of information and services
to assist in the job search. Some of the highlights include Connecticut’s CT
JobCentral, Job & Career ConneCTion and Labor Market Information.

CT JobCentral

CT JobCentral is a state labor exchange in alliance with JobCentral
national labor exchange powered by Direct Employer. This self-service
job bank provides a wide range of employment services, which includes
job listing distribution to and from state employment websites as well as
participation in the national labor exchange with other states. Job seekers
can search jobs representing all types of work, from professional and
technical to blue collar.
There is also an electronic résumé service for job seekers and employers.
Job seekers enter their résumés online and employers search the
résumés for qualified candidates. Features include:

•            Career and job search information
•            Hot links to other job-related Web sites
•            Standardized résumé format
•            Security and confidentiality of information
•            Links to other local services and information
•            Job Search Agents - automatically notifies you by e-mail whenever
             a job that matches your skills is listed on CT JobCentral

Job & Career ConneCTion

Provides the most comprehensive source of local information on jobs and
careers in Connecticut. Features include:

             •            Local wages, number of job openings and projected
                          growth rate of occupations
  •                       Descriptions of over 800 occupations including
		                        education, training and licensing requirements
  •                       Detailed information on over 140,000 Connecticut
                          employers, including maps to their locations
             •            Search for local services: child care, transportation,
                          health care and housing
             •            Connecticut education, training and financial aid

Visit www.ct.gov/dol for more information on:
• Workshops			                                   • Interviewing Techniques
• Recruitments in our centers                    • Dislocated Worker Services
• Labor Market Information                       • Veterans’ programs
• Job and Career Fairs                          • Youth Employment Site
• Connecticut Labor Market                       • Links to state and
   AT-A-Glance                                     federal job announcements
• Employment services                            • Wage and Workplace Standards
• Tips on Finding Jobs 		                        • Apprenticeship
• Résumé Writing 		                              • Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Public computers are available at our centers and libraries statewide. Our
goal is to assist you in obtaining employment as soon as possible.
U.S. Military Veterans are provided priority in all of the US DOL funded
employment and training programs, which are available through the CT
Works Career Centers. Additionally, Veterans’ Specialists are available in
the Bridgeport, Hamden, Hartford, New Britain, New London and Waterbury
offices to provide one-on-one services to disabled, combat, recently separated
and other veterans who would benefit from intensive services. For more
information go to www.ctvets.org or call one of the CT Works Centers listed
below. Office for Veteran’s Workforce Development Locations:

Bridgeport       2 Lafayette Sq   203-455-2710   New Britain   260 Lafayette St   860-827-6280

Hamden           37 Marne St      203-859-3410   New London Shaw’s Cove Six       860-439-7580

Hartford         3580 Main St     860-256-3700   Waterbury     249 Thomaston Ave 203-437-3390


What is it?
Unemployment Insurance is temporary income for workers who are
unemployed through no fault of their own and who are either looking for new
jobs, in approved training, or awaiting recall to employment. The funding
for unemployment insurance benefits comes from taxes paid by employers.
Workers do not pay any of the costs. To qualify for unemployment benefits,
you must have earned sufficient wages during a specified time (monetary
eligibility). To collect those benefits, you must meet certain legal eligibility

                BASIC ELIGIBILITY
To qualify for benefits, you must: REQUIREMENTS
•       Be fully or partially unemployed.
•       Be unemployed through no fault of your own; the law imposes
        disqualifications for certain types of separations from employment
•       Be physically and mentally able to work and available for work as
        defined by law.
•       Be registered with the Career Center.
•       Be actively seeking work by making reasonable efforts to find
        employment each week (or be excused from this requirement
        because of your participation in approved training).
•       Participate in selected reemployment services IF you are identified
        as a dislocated worker bythe enhanced reemployment services
•       File your weekly claims as directed.
These requirements are fully explained within this booklet and on our Web
site: www.ct.gov/dol. All statutes and regulations governing eligibility are
available for inspection at your local Career Center.

Most workers are covered by the Unemployment Insurance system.
However, there are some major categories of employment that are not:

Types of Employment Not Covered
Among the major categories of employment not covered by the law are:

•        Newspaper carriers under age 18 who deliver to customers.
•        Insurance agents (other than industrial life insurance agents).
•        Real estate persons paid only by commission.
•        Sole proprietors and partners.
•        Children under 21 employed by a parent and anyone employed
         by his or her spouse.
•        Certain religious or church‑related employment.
•        Work in Connecticut covered under the unemployment
         compensation law of another state.
•        Railroad workers (railroads are self-insured).
•        Outside sales representatives of a for-profit travel agency.


Protection of Individual Rights Under the Unemployment Compensation
You have a legal right to file a claim for unemployment benefits or to testify on
behalf of a co-worker or anyone else filing a claim for benefits. It is illegal for an
employer to discharge, discipline, penalize or discriminate against you because
you filed a claim for benefits, testified in an Unemployment Compensation
hearing or exercised any right afforded by the Unemployment Compensation
Act. Any person who believes he or she has been discharged, disciplined,
penalized or discriminated against in retaliation for exercising rights under the
Unemployment Compensation Act may file a written complaint to the Labor
Commissioner, who is authorized to conduct hearings and award appropriate
relief if the complaint is valid. All complaints should be mailed to the following
		                     Connecticut Department of Labor
                          200 Folly Brook Boulevard
                     Wethersfield, Connecticut 06109-1114
                        Attn: Office of Program Policy


Starting a Basic New Claim
To apply for Unemployment Insurance, you must complete an initial (or new)
claim by telephone or over the Internet. A claim should be filed with the
Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) TeleBenefits Line as soon as
you are separated from employment. The TeleBenefits telephone numbers
are listed on the back cover of this booklet. The web site for filing over the
Internet is www.ct.gov/dol. A claim for benefits is effective (begins) with the
Sunday of the week in which you call in your claim.

Information about you, your dependents and your work history is recorded
and used by the CTDOL to establish your claim. It is very important that
the information provided is accurate. All correspondence, including benefit
checks, is mailed to the address that you provide. There are penalties for
making false statements to obtain benefits. The information you provide is
subject to verification.
Your benefit amounts are based on your earnings in covered employment
in a base period which consists of the first four of the last five completed
calendar quarters prior to the date of your claim. Commencing with benefit
years effective on or after January 5, 2003, individuals who cannot establish
monetary eligibility using wages in the previously described base period will
use an alternate base period. The alternate base period consists of the four
calendar quarters immediately preceding the quarter in which the claim is
filed. Your “WEEKLY BENEFIT RATE” is 1/26 of the average of the two
highest quarters during the base period, but cannot exceed the maximum
benefit rate established by law. For construction workers, the weekly benefit
rate is 1/26 of the highest quarter in the base period. In either case, your
total base period earnings must equal at least 40 times your weekly benefit
rate in order to qualify for benefits.
A “dependency allowance” for an eligible dependent is $15.00 each week.
Total dependency allowances cannot be paid for more than five dependents
($75), and may never exceed your weekly benefit rate.
Besides having sufficient wages in your base period to establish a weekly
benefit rate, another key element in determining your eligibility for benefits
is your reason for being unemployed. All employers are legally required
to provide a form UC-61 “Unemployment Notice,” commonly known as a
“pink slip” and an attached packet “Application for Unemployment Benefits,”
whenever a worker becomes unemployed for any reason. The pink slip
contains the employer’s stated reason for your unemployment (for example,
laid off for lack of work, voluntarily left, discharged). The application packet
contains information about how to file a new claim by telephone, the
questions you will be asked and any special information you should have
available when you call. The application packet (English and Spanish) is
available to download from the Web site.
Do not delay filing your claim if your employer has not or will not issue you
Benefits will not be paid retroactively for weeks preceding the filing of your
claim unless it is established through a hearing process that good cause
for late filing exists.
The information provided to the Connecticut Department of Labor for the
purpose of establishing a claim for Unemployment Compensation Benefits,
including your Social Security Number, may be subject to verification
through computer matching programs, according to agreements with other
Federal, State, or Local government agencies.

Filing Your Weekly Continued Claim
For information on filing weekly claims for benefits, by telephone or over
the Internet, please see page 30.
		                  ARE BENEFITS ALLOWABLE?

If your employer has indicated on your unemployment notice that you were
laid off for lack of work or your job was eliminated due to a work force
reduction, you will normally be determined eligible for benefits without the
need for a hearing of any type. However, if your employer has indicated
on the notice that you quit or were discharged for misconduct or some
other reason, a hearing will normally be scheduled with an adjudications
specialist at the Career Center nearest you within ten to fourteen days
from the date you first file. Your employer will be mailed a notice of this
hearing and will be asked to provide a statement in person, by telephone,
or in writing regarding your job separation.
At the hearing, you will be asked questions about the circumstances under
which you became unemployed. You should answer these questions
directly and honestly. The hearing is informal. You have the right to present
any evidence, documents or witnesses you wish, as does your employer.
You may furnish a written statement if you desire. You will be given a
questionnaire to guide you regarding the types of questions likely to be
asked. You have the right to be represented by anyone you choose. If you
discover during the hearing that you need additional evidence, documents
or witnesses to present your case fully, you may request that the hearing
be continued and rescheduled for a later date to be determined by the
adjudications specialist.
Following the hearing, the adjudicator will make a decision as to whether
your reason for becoming unemployed is or is not disqualifying under
Connecticut Compensation Law. If you are disqualified, you will receive a
letter explaining the legal reason for the disqualification, usually within a few
days. You may appeal this decision to an Employment Security Appeals
Referee. (See “Appeal Rights” Page 20) If you are found eligible, you will
be mailed a check for each week you have claimed to date. Your former
employer may appeal a decision awarding you benefits.
In general, the Connecticut Unemployment Compensation Act is intended
to provide benefits to workers who are out of work through no fault of their

own. When a worker quits a job, benefits may be awarded only when the
worker has shown good cause attributable to the employer for quitting.
When a worker is fired, benefits will be awarded unless the conduct that
caused the discharge is disqualifying under the law.
Any separations from employment must be reported including any
separations from part-time work that occur while filing for benefits.
If You Quit Your Job
The general rule is that a person who voluntarily leaves suitable
work without good cause attributable to the employer is not eligible for
benefits until he or she has returned to work and earned ten times his or
her weekly benefit rate.
For good cause to be attributable to the employer, it must somehow relate
to the wages, hours or working conditions of the job you voluntarily left.
A change in conditions created by your employer or a breach of your
employment agreement which is substantial and adversely affects you
might be good cause for leaving attributable to the employer. In addition,
good cause attributable to the employer may exist if the job itself adversely
affects your health or aggravates or worsens a medical condition.
Regardless of the cause for leaving, in most cases, good cause attributable
to the employer may only be found if you took reasonable steps to inform
your employer of your dissatisfaction and sought to remedy the problem
before you left.
Since you are the one who quit the job, it is your burden to prove that
there was good cause for leaving. Reasons that are not considered good
cause attributable to the employer, that will result in disqualification from
benefits under current law include: quitting for a better job and quitting to
relocate with your family.
There are, however, nine reasons that are not specifically connected with
the work, but the law says are proper reasons for approving a quit. Benefits
may be awarded if you are otherwise eligible. These are:
1. if you have left work to care for a spouse, child or parent with an illness
   or disability;
2. if you have left work because your means of transportation to and
   from work (other than your personally‑owned vehicle) has been
   discontinued, provided no reasonable alternative transportation is
3. if you accepted other employment while on a layoff from your regular
   work and then left that other employment when you were recalled to
   your former job;
4. if you left work that was outside your regular apprentice able trade to
   return to work in your regular apprentice able trade;
5. if you left work solely because of governmental regulation or statute;
6. if you left part‑time work to accept full‑time work.
7. if you left work to protect yourself or a child, spouse or parent from
   becoming or remaining a victim of domestic violence, provided
   you made reasonable efforts to preserve your employment.
8. if you left your job to accompany a spouse who is required to relocate
    while on active duty with the United States Armed forces.
9. If you left your job on or after April 15, 2009 to accompany a spouse to
    a place from which it is impractical to commute due to a change in
   location of your spouse’s employment

If You Quit Part-time Work
The law provides for a limited disqualification when an individual voluntarily
quits a part‑time job. When a disqualifying voluntary leaving of part‑time
work precedes a non‑disqualifying separation from full time work, the
wages earned from that part‑time employer must be removed from the
Base Period and cannot be used in determining Monetary Eligibility. In
such cases, Monetary Eligibility will be determined based on any wages
that remain in the Base Period. The removal of the part‑time wages may
result in no change to the Weekly Benefit Rate, a lowered rate or the
elimination of the rate.

Whenever such a disqualification is imposed, you will be notified by
letter and a new Monetary Determination will be issued to you showing
which wage credits were used and the Weekly Benefit Rate that resulted.
In addition, if you quit a part‑time job without sufficient cause after a
compensable (approvable) separation from full time employment, you may
still be eligible for benefits, but the amount will be reduced by two‑thirds
of the gross wages you were being paid on that part‑time job.

If You Were Discharged
If you have been fired or suspended, you may be disqualified from benefits
until you have earned ten times your weekly benefit rate and are otherwise
eligible if your employer proves that the reason he fired or suspended you
was one of the following:

1. Wilful misconduct in the course of your employment. The term “wilful
   misconduct” means deliberate misconduct in wilful disregard of the
   employer’s interest, or a single knowing violation of a reasonable

and uniformly enforced rule or policy of the employer, when
   reasonably applied, provided such violation is not a result of the employee’s
   incompetence. In the case of absence from work, “wilful misconduct”
   means an employee must be absent without notice or good cause for
   three separate instances within an 12-month period.
2. Conduct which is a felony under Connecticut law or federal law and
   occurred in the course of your employment.
3. Conduct which constitutes larceny of property or service whose
   value exceeds 25 dollars in the course of your employment. Also
   conduct which constitutes larceny of cash regardless of the amount
   of such currency.
4. Participation in a strike which is illegal under federal or state law
    or applied, provided such violation is not a result of the employee’s
   incompetence. In the case of absence from work, “wilful misconduct”
    means an employee must be absent without notice or good cause
    for three separate instances within an 12-month period.
5. You were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 30 days or
   longer and had begun serving that sentence.
6. You were discharged or suspended because you were disqualified
   under state or federal law from performing the work for which
   you were hired as a result of a drug or alcohol testing program
   mandated by and conducted in accordance with such law.
If You Retired
A worker who voluntarily retires from a job is ineligible for benefits until
he or she has again been paid wages equaling 40 times his/her weekly
benefit rate and is otherwise eligible. Generally, retirement is defined as
an individual’s withdrawal from the labor market. The fact that a person
receives a pension upon termination of his employment does not always
mean that he/she has retired. To determine if a person has retired, we
must assess the person’s intent at the time he/she left the job. However,
if the reason for the retirement is because the job has become unsuitable
in light of the worker’s physical condition and the degree of risk to health
and safety, the worker may still be eligible for benefits, provided he/she
requested other work from the employer which was suitable and the
employer did not offer him/her such work. A worker whose retirement was
not voluntary is normally eligible for benefits, provided he or she is able
and available for work as defined by law. In addition, in certain instances,
a worker’s retirement will be treated as involuntary if the retirement was
induced by the employer in an effort to close a facility or eliminate the
worker’s position, or if the worker reasonably believed the employment
would be severed if he/she rejected the employer’s inducement to retire.
The portion of your pension benefit that relates to your employer’s
contribution is deducted from your weekly benefit rate.

If You Are Involved in a Labor Dispute
You will be ineligible for benefits during any week in which your unemployment
is due to the existence of a labor dispute other than a lockout at the factory,
premises or other establishment at which you have been employed. You
may be found eligible for benefits even if your un employment is the result
of a labor dispute if you can show either:

1. You are not participating in, financing or directly interested in the labor
   dispute which caused your unemployment and you do not belong to the
   trade, class or organization whose members worked on the premises
   immediately before the labor dispute began and are participating in,
   financing or directly interested in the dispute, or

2. Your unemployment is due to a lockout. A lockout exists when an

   (a) fails to provide employment to workers with whom it is engaged in a
       labor dispute either by physically closing the plant or informing the
       workers there will be no work until the labor dispute has terminated;
    (b) announces that work will be available after a contract has expired
       only under terms and conditions less favorable than the last terms
       and conditions of employment.

In each of the above situations, for a lockout to exist, the workers’ union or
representative has to inform the employer that the workers involved in the
dispute are willing to work under those last terms and conditions pending
negotiation of a new contract.

Leave of Absence
If you are on a leave of absence from your employment, a hearing will be
held to determine whether you are able and available for full‑time work. If
the reason for your leave is medical ‑ you are physically unable to perform
your normal job and your employer has no other suitable work for you ‑ you
may be eligible for benefits if you are physically capable of performing some
other type of work and are looking for work in that field. If your leave of
absence is for a definite time period, you must, at a minimum be available
for temporary employment. Depending on your circumstances, we may
advise you regarding any more specific work search obligations.

If your leave of absence was essentially voluntary in nature and your regular
job or some other suitable work is available to you, and you are capable of
performing it, then the adjudications specialist will probably find that you
are not eligible for benefits since you are not available for suitable work ‑ in
this case, your regular job.
Educational Employees
Employees of public and nonprofit educational institutions may not be paid
benefits based on services performed for such institutions between academic
years or terms and during vacation and holiday recesses if they have a contract
or reasonable assurance of returning to work in the same or similar capacity
when classes resume. If you are an employee of an educational institution who
is filing for benefits between academic years or terms or during a recess, you
should identify yourself as an educational employee when you first file, so that
you can be provided with more detailed information regarding this provision
of the law and how it applies to you. (See “EDUCATIONAL EMPLOYMENT/

If You Are a Professional Athlete
If substantially all of the services you performed in your base period consist
of participation in sports or athletic events or training or preparation for such
participation, you will not be paid benefits between sports seasons if you have
a reasonable assurance of performing the same type of services in the ensuing
ATHLETES” Page 18)

                       AVAILABILITY FOR WORK

You must be physically and mentally able to work during each week for which
you claim benefits. You must be available for work during each week for which
you are claiming benefits. This means you must be ready, willing and able to
accept any suitable work. If you place unreasonable restrictions on the type of
work you are willing to accept or how far you are willing to travel to a job to such
an extent that you are no longer genuinely exposed to your normal labor market,
you may be denied benefits on the grounds that you are not available for work
within the meaning of the law. For example, if your entire work experience is as
a skilled carpenter, you are still physically capable of working as a carpenter, you
have no other marketable skills and carpentry jobs exist in your area, then your
unwillingness to accept any employment as a carpenter would probably result in
a determination that you are not available for work because you have seriously
reduced your prospects for finding suitable work.

Generally, an individual must be available for and seeking full-time work. Under
certain conditions, a person who has a disability may be able to limit his or her
availability for work to part time only. A claimant can qualify for unemployment
compensation by: (1) providing documentation from a licensed physician which
establishes that (a) he or she has a physical or mental impairment that is chronic
or expected to be long-term or permanent, and (b) the impairment leaves him
or her unable to work full-time, and (2) demonstrating that the impairment does
not effectively remove him or her from the labor force.

If you have a reasonably certain date of recall by your former employer
or a definite starting date with a new employer, you must be available for
suitable temporary work during the time before you are scheduled to return
to work in order to comply with the law regarding availability.
During the weeks immediately after you first become unemployed, you
may limit your work search to employment that is equivalent to your highest
previous wage and skill level. However, after a reasonable period, if you
have not found new employment, you will be expected to broaden your
availability to other types of work and to jobs which may pay less than your
highest previous wage. You may be interviewed periodically by Career
Center staff, who will advise you regarding what you must do to insure that
you comply with the legal requirement of availability for work.

Registration for Employment Services
At the time you file a new claim, you will also be registered for employment
services to help you return to work as soon as possible. You must maintain
an active employment registration as long as you continue to file weekly
claims for unemployment compensation. Visit your Career Center for
job seeking assistance. (See page 1 CTWorks Center.) Unless you
have a definite date to return to work with your former employer in the
immediate future, your registration will result in consideration for referrals
to appropriate employment-related services, as well as direct referrals
to employers for job openings. You may be notified of employment
opportunities either by telephone or by a notice sent in the mail. In either
case, you must respond and follow through immediately. Failure to report
immediately to the Career Center if sent a call-in notice or to an employer
if given a job referral could result in your being disqualified from benefits
until such time as you have returned to work and earned six times your
benefit rate.
Refusal of Suitable Work
In determining whether you had sufficient cause for refusing a job or a
referral to a job, the Career Center will consider whether the job you were
offered or referred to was suitable for you. Factors to be taken into account
are whether the job is in your usual occupation or if it is work for which you
are reasonably fitted, whether the job is within a reasonable distance of
your home, your prior training, experience and skills, your previous wage
level and how long you have been unemployed, and whether the job poses
any unreasonable risks to your health or safety. In addition, CTDOL staff
will also consider whether the wages, hours and working conditions of
the work offered or referred to are substantially less favorable than those
prevailing for similar work in the same area.

In some cases, an offer of temporary work may be an offer of suitable
employment when the factors which determine suitability are considered.
A temporary employee of a temporary help service who refuses to accept
suitable employment when it is offered by such service upon completion
of an assignment may be disqualified.

It is important that you respond to a call‑in notice from the Career Center to
learn about the job. If you are uncertain about whether the job described
is suitable for you, then you should accept the referral and report to the
employer to learn more about it. Remember, if the job is found to be
suitable under the law, you may be disqualified from benefits for either
failing to accept the job offer itself or for failure to apply for the job when
referred by the CTDOL staff.
In addition, whenever it is reported to the CTDOL that you have refused any
offer of employment, a hearing must be conducted to establish whether or
not you refused the job and whether the work offered was suitable under
the guidelines which have been described. Benefits may be delayed for
up to five working days pending a final decision. If it is determined that
you refused suitable work, you will be disqualified from benefits effective
with the week you refused the job. (See “WHAT IF ELIGIBILITY FOR

Attendance at a School, College or University
If you are separated from employment, become eligible for benefits and
then decide to begin attending a school, college or university as a regularly
enrolled student, you may continue to collect benefits, provided you are
available for and seeking full‑time work which does not conflict with classes.
(If you quit your job in order to attend school, on the other hand, you will
be disqualified from receiving benefits). If you were a full‑time student
anytime during the two years prior to your separation from employment,
you must also have been a full‑time employee during that same two‑year
period in order to receive this consideration. Otherwise, you must be willing
and able to change classes or drop out of school if you find a job which
conflicts with your classes.

Eligibility for Benefits While Enrolled in an Approved Training Course
If, after you have been determined eligible for benefits, you enroll in
a job training course, you may be exempted from the requirements of
being available for work, making efforts to find work and having to accept
referrals to and offers of work, provided the CTDOL determines that:
1. The training will help you develop the skills or abilities needed to find a

job, and there are or will be future employment opportunities for that
    type of work in the area in which you intend to seek work;
2. Reasonable employment opportunities do not exist or have
   substantially diminished in your labor market for that type of work you
   are best fitted to perform at your highest skill level; and

3. The training facility or sponsor has determined that you are qualified
   to complete the training course.

Any training under the Workforce Investment Act falls within these guidelines
as approved training. If you are about to enroll in any training course, you
should call the TeleBenefits Line immediately so it can be determined if you
can collect the benefits available to you while in training. Unemployment
Insurance is not extended because you are in training except through Trade
Act approval. Even if you are paying for the training yourself, it may be
considered approved training by the CTDOL.

Pregnancy And New Mothers
In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits, each claimant must be
physically able to work, looking for work and available for work at the hours
that are usual for the claimant’s occupation. These rules hold for pregnant
women as well as new mothers.
Your benefits cannot be denied solely because of pregnancy or being a
mother, provided you are otherwise eligible. You will not be required to
undergo an informal hearing simply because of pregnancy.
You may not be asked if you are pregnant unless it is physically obvious.
At that point, you may be required to provide a medical certificate indicating
the expected date of delivery and the last day on which you will be able to
After giving birth, you may qualify for benefits as soon as you are physically
able to work, looking for work and otherwise eligible, and file a claim. If
you file within four weeks of childbirth, your eligibility for benefits will be
evaluated at a hearing.

You may not be asked about breast-feeding. As with all claimants, you will
be asked to name the person who will provide child care while you work.
Once that question is answered, you may not be asked anything further
about child care arrangements.

If your employment was terminated because of pregnancy, you may be
eligible for benefits provided you are physically able to work, looking for a
job and meet all other requirements. If you left work or are on a leave of

absence because of pregnancy but are able to do another type of work
and are otherwise eligible, you may collect benefits while pregnant. It is
emphasized, however, that you must be otherwise eligible. You will not be
required to accept unsuitable work nor be denied job referrals to potential
employment solely because of pregnancy.


The Unemployment Compensation law says that an unemployed worker
must make reasonable efforts to find employment each week. This means
that you should look for and apply for jobs that you are qualified to do. You
should apply for suitable employment by whatever means is most likely to
bring your skills to the attention of a prospective employer and increase
your chances of getting hired. Usually, the best method of job search is to
apply in person. However, for certain types of employment, application by
résumé is customary and may be more appropriate. Generally, in‑person
contacts should be made whenever they increase the possibility of your
being hired. As a general rule, telephoning prospective employers (as
opposed to in‑person contacts) is not a reasonable method of searching
for work unless the employer specifically encourages telephone contact.

While the law does not specify what number of efforts to find work you must
make each week, courts have generally said that an unemployed person
who makes at least three employer contacts in a week has made reasonable
efforts to obtain work during that week. Of course, it is necessary that
those efforts be directed toward work which you are qualified to do and
that you apply through the means best‑suited to securing the job you are
seeking. In general, repeat contacts are not considered to be reasonable
unless there is a definite reason to believe returning to the same employer
would create favorable prospects for securing employment. There may be
some instances in which one or two employer contacts in a given week
would be considered reasonable efforts; for example, if you accept an offer
of employment to start the following week after making only one contact.
Although you will not necessarily be questioned about your efforts every
week, the Career Center will check your efforts periodically and has the
right to question and verify your employer contacts in any week. Therefore,
you should keep a list of those employers with whom you have applied, the
type of work you sought, the date of the contact, the employer’s response
and the name or title of the person you contacted.
If you travel out of state to look for work during a one or two week period for
which you wish to claim benefits, keep a detailed list of job search contacts.
Upon your return to the area, contact the TeleBenefits Line to schedule a
review of your availability for work, specifically your job search activities
while you were out of state.

Finally, if you have a confirmed return‑to‑work date, contact the Tele-
Benefits Line for advice on your work search obligation.

Keeping a record of weekly employer contacts is important not only for
periodic determinations by the Career Center, but also because some
people who file for benefits are randomly selected for an audit of their
unemployment claims by the CTDOL’s Quality Control Unit. You should be
able to provide the auditor information regarding your employer contacts for
the week being reviewed and the dates the contacts were made. Failure
to provide this information could result in a retroactive denial of benefits for
that week, and you would be liable to repay the benefits you received.


The Enhanced Re-employment Services program identifies customers
who are likely to exhaust their unemployment benefits before returning
to the same or similar employment. This program provides additional
services to these job-seeking customers to help them get back to work
more quickly.

If you are selected to participate, you will be given an orientation and
overview of the program. Your participation is required as a condition of
eligibility. Failure to participate in any re-employment services to which
you are referred may result in a disqualification for unemployment

After an assessment of your re-employment needs, a service plan will be
created to meet those needs. Based on your needs, you may be referred
to a variety of services including, but not limited to:

•     Career counseling                   •   Labor Market Information

•    Job search seminars/                 •   Resume writing

•     Employment referrals                •   Interviewing assistance


Your weekly benefit check can be reduced if you receive certain types of
income or payments that arise out of past or present employment. You
must report to the TeleBenefits Line receipt of any of the following

payments when received or when you are informed that you will be receiving
such payment.

    •   Part-time wages or wages for any work performed, including tips,
        (Must be reported WHEN EARNED NOT WHEN PAID). Two-thirds
        of the amount of your weekly gross earnings is deductible from your
        weeklybenefit rate.
    •   Remuneration from self-employment
    •   Vacation pay
    •   Severance pay or wages in lieu of notice
    •   Holiday pay
    •   Retention Bonus
    •   Workers’ Compensation
    •   Employer-sponsored disability payments
    •   Employer-sponsored Pensions
    •   Unemployment Insurance under other state or federal law
    •   Back pay awards
    •   Bonus payments for prior work
    •   Child support obligations

A reduction in benefits for vacation pay or severance pay may not always
be necessary, especially if you are required to sign a release of claims
agreement in order to receive severance pay.


If you are engaged in self-employment on a part-time basis (while
maintaining your availability and work search as defined by law), you may
be eligible for partial benefits. Two-thirds of the amount of any remuneration
received for self-employment is also deductible from your weekly benefit
rate. You must immediately report your self-employment activity to
the TeleBenefits Line whether or not you expect remuneration for
such work.


Under certain conditions and during certain time periods (See “Educational
Employees” Page 12), former employees of educational institutions may find
their Weekly Benefit Rate reduced or eliminated because wages earned
from such employers are removed from the Base Period as a result of
disqualification. When such a disqualification is in effect, only Base Period
wage credits from non‑educational employers and/or educational employers
not involved in the disqualification can be utilized to establish monetary

eligibility. The first Monetary Determination received by educational
employees will always reflect all Base Period wage credits before

When wage credits from those educational employers involved in
disqualification are removed from Base Period use, one of three things can occur:

1. There is no change to the Weekly Benefit Rate because there are
   sufficient wage credits from other employers remaining in the Base
   Period and the average of the two highest quarters of wages remains
2. The Weekly Benefit Rate is reduced because, while there are still
   sufficient wage credits from other employers to establish monetary
   entitlement, the highest quarters of wages has changed as a result of
   the removal.
3. The Weekly Benefit Rate is eliminated because there are not enough
   wage credits remaining from other (non‑disqualifying) employers upon
   which to establish monetary entitlement.

Whenever wage credits are removed because of such disqualification, a
second Monetary Determination will be issued to you showing which wage
credits remain and what, if any, Weekly Benefit Rate is in effect.

This type of disqualification is only in effect during certain periods of time
(between school or academic years, between semesters, during holiday,
vacation, or recess periods); thus, it is possible that an unemployed
educational employee could receive a lower benefit rate during disqualifying
periods and the full rate during other periods. If you intend to file for benefits
during one of the periods listed above, you must advise a Tele-Benefits
Line representative.

This type of disqualification also applies to professional athletes during
certain periods. During such time periods only wages earned from other
than non‑professional sports participation can be used to determine
eligibility. (See “If You Are a Professional Athlete”, Page 12.)

See also “If You Quit Part-Time Work,” Page 9.


Once you have been determined initially eligible for benefits, your right to
benefits in future weeks will not be terminated without a hearing and
decision by an adjudicator. Should a legitimate question be raised about
your availability for work, your efforts to find work or whether you

refused an offer or referral to suitable work, a hearing will be scheduled.
You will be given notice of the issue to be decided, and you may have the
hearing immediately, or within five working days if you want time to prepare.
If you refuse an offer of rehire from your former employer, that employer
will be given notice and an opportunity to participate in the hearing. Any
decision affecting your right to benefits in any week may be appealed to
the Employment Security Appeals Division.

		                           APPEAL RIGHTS

Whenever a claim is denied, a written decision is sent to you. The reason
for, and period of, ineligibility will be explained. Your decision will also give
you information concerning your appeal rights. You have twenty-one (21)
calendar days from the mailing date of the notification in which to file an

You may file an appeal by:
•   Mailing or faxing your appeal to the Career Center. Your appeal will be
    timely if it is received within 21 days of the decision denying benefits
    or if mailed, it bears a legible United States postmark dated within
    such 21-day period.
• Using the Internet at:www.ctdol.state.ct.us/appeals/apfrmint.htm
   within this 21-day period.
• Reporting in person to your Career Center as soon as possible. A
   member of the local staff will assist you in preparing your appeal, and
   if you wish, provide guidance in how to use various reference

While waiting for the referee’s decision, you should continue to file
claims as scheduled so long as you are unemployed.

Your Social Security number should be included on all correspondence.
If your appeal is late, the Appeals Referee cannot legally hear your case
unless you show good cause for filing the appeal late.

Once your appeal is filed or an employer files an appeal from the award
of benefits, the Appeals Division will send you “A Claimant’s Guide to the
Appeals Process.” This pamphlet tells you everything you need to know
about how to prepare for an appeal. Read it carefully.

The Appeals Division is an independent body and controls all phases of
appeals processing. If there is any change in your status which might
affect your eligibility for benefits, you should contact the TeleBenefits Line
to determine whether your claim can be reopened.
The referee holds an informal hearing to which all interested parties are
invited. Again, you may bring documents or witnesses and be represented.
You will receive a written decision from the referee. That decision may
be appealed to the Board of Review by the claimant, the employer or the
Administrator, within twenty-one (21) days of its mailing date. It is very
important to attend all hearings and to present all pertinent information.
Requests for postponement should be made to the office that issued the
notice of hearing and will be granted only for good cause.

Instructions for filing such appeals appear following the referee’s
decision. You should clearly identify the appeal as “Appeal to the Board
of Review.”

Do not delay your appeal!

If an appeal to the Board of Review is filed, the Board will acknowledge your
appeal and provide an opportunity for you to submit a written statement in
support of your case. It is important that you tell the Board every reason
why you think the referee’s decision was wrong. The Board will then
review all the material in the case file and listen to the tape recording of
the hearing before the referee. A decision will be issued which will affirm
(agree with), reverse, or modify the referee’s decision. If the Board feels
that further information is needed, the case may be remanded (sent back)
to the referee for a new hearing.

The Board’s decision may be appealed within thirty (30) days by an
interested party. Instructions for filing such appeals are contained in the
Board’s decision and must be followed carefully since such appeals are
heard by the Superior Court.

It is extremely important that your appeal be received or postmarked
within the time limit allowed by law. Failure to do so will result in dismissal
of the appeal and the decision will stand unless you can show good cause
for filing late. If the last day for appeal falls on a day when CTDOL offices
are closed, the appeal period is extended to the next business day.


Due to Error or Reversal:

If, after having been found eligible for benefits, the CTDOL determines
that you were paid in error or the Employment Security Appeals Division
reverses the original decision to pay benefits, you will be liable to repay
benefits that were overpaid.

Once the decision which results in your being overpaid becomes
final, you will be given the opportunity to have a hearing before an
adjudications specialist regarding:

•    the exact amount of the overpayment,
•    how the overpayment should be recouped (for example, offsetting
     a portion - usually 50 percent - of weekly benefits); and
•    whether recovery of the overpayment can be waived because it
     would be against equity and good conscience to require payment.
    If the immediate deduction of your benefits in the benefit year is
    insufficient to repay the amount you owe and you do not make full
    repayment, the Department of Labor will establish a repayment plan
    for you. If you fail to comply with the repayment schedule, the
    Department of Labor may garnish your wages when you return to
    work. A court-ordered wage execution can require your employer
    to deduct money from your wages and pay that amount directly to
    the Department of Labor.

Resulting from Fraud, Wilful Nondisclosure or Wilful Misrepresentation
of a Material Fact:

It is a crime to misrepresent or fail to disclose facts or to make false
statements in order to obtain or increase benefits. A number of techniques,
including computerized cross-checking of earnings during weeks of
unemployment, are used in Connecticut to detect fraudulent claims.

Remember - you must:

•    report all work and gross earnings, including tips;
•    report all facts affecting your availability, such as illness, confinement
     or self-employment;
•    report if you fail to go to a job referral or if you refuse a job.

There are severe penalties for submitting false statements or withholding
Information about employment and earnings in order to receive or increase
benefits. All work, including self-employment, must be reported when the
work is performed, even if you do not receive any payment at the time.

Violators are subject to prosecution and, if found guilty, are subject to
a jail sentence of one to five years and a maximum fine of $5,000. In
addition, they MUST REPAY the amount of benefits overpaid, and may

forfeit as many as thirty-nine (39) additional weeks of future benefits
as an administrative penalty. Future benefits may also be totally offset
until all overpaid benefits are recovered.

All overpayment determinations made on or after July 1, 2005, which
are based on fraud, willful misrepresentation or willful non-disclosure of
a material fact will be subject to interest of one (1) percent per month on
the remaining balance due.

    If the immediate deduction of your benefits in the benefit year is
    insufficient to repay the amount you owe and you do not make full
    repayment, the Department of Labor will establish a repayment
    plan for you. If you fail to comply with the repayment schedule, the
    Department of Labor may garnish your wages when you return to
    work. A court-ordered wage execution can require your employer
    to deduct money from your wages and pay that amount directly to
    the Department of Labor.

In addition, other actions permitted by law may be taken. Such actions
may include, but not be limited to, criminal prosecution as well as
otherwise receive.


If you receive any unemployment benefits during the course of a Benefit
Year, and that Benefit Year has expired or is about to expire, benefits cannot
be paid in a second Benefit Year unless the following eligibility conditions
have been satisfied:

•     You have sufficient wage credits in your new Base Period to establish
      a new Weekly Benefit Rate.

•     Since establishing your first Benefit Year, you have returned to work
      and been paid wages of $300 or five times the Weekly Benefit Rate
       established for your second Benefit Year (whichever is

•      Only wages earned from an employer that is subject to Unemployment
       Insurance law (any state or federal law) can be considered as meeting
       the second Benefit Year requirement. If there is any doubt that you have
       met this requirement, contact the Tele-Benefits Line.

You can also read