HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - State labor officials said a new system has been launched to help process unemployment claim applications from people who are self-employed.
They also said they received an additional 28,000 unemployment claims last week. That brought the pandemic total to roughly 430,000.
Connecticut Department of Labor commissioner Kurt Westby and deputy commissioners Dante Bartolomeo and Daryle Dudzinski held a briefing Thursday morning
An update was given on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that provides benefits to the self-employed.
“Our agency is proud of the work it has accomplished in order to serve the self-employed, individuals who have not been eligible to apply for unemployment benefits in the past, but are now facing workplace situations never seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Westby said. “The new online ReEmployCT system meets mandated integrity requirements while providing a federally-required two-step application process.”
Federal guidelines require that self-employed individuals, including independent contractors and “gig” workers, first apply through the Connecticut unemployment system located on www.filectui.com.
This is a two-step process, so after you apply, you should get a confirmation email, you must wait for a second email where you will need documentation such as your 2019 tax return, a 1099 and a W2 and there will be a red button, which will be available on that website starting next week.
Applicants must receive a determination notice in the mail from the DOL before they can apply on the newly-designed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance online system that will also be located at www.filectui.com.
Follow the complete application steps outlined here.
Officials also provided updates on the federal stimulus unemployment programs, including the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. The program provides an additional $600 to eligible claimants.
“With hard work and determination, our agency has been able to process many of the 430,000 state applications received in the past six weeks, and we continue to work on responding to customers with questions about their claim or the unemployment process,” Westby said. “We recognize the important role unemployment benefits play in helping our residents weather the pandemic, and we are committed to providing the best service possible during this crisis.”
More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment across the country since the pandemic started, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Last week, the state labor department said received 402,000 unemployment applications since the start of the outbreak and had processed about 327,000 of them.
"It's circumstances that have never existed before so we are really hopeful something will come along here,” said Sharon Moriarty, who is self-employed.
She had to shut down her hair salon in Canton, and has had no income for about six weeks.
Under normal circumstances she would not be able to get unemployment insurance, because she is self-employed and doesn't pay into the system. But this is a pandemic, and for the first time there is federal money to help people like Sharon.
"We are pretty hopeful, but time is passing and we are nervous about going back just in general, with all the restrictions and we are worried we are going to lose some clients,” she said.