Weekly Update/ DOL Information

May 2, 2020

To help you and our neighbors stay up-to-date on the ever-evolving stream of information related to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, my office and I are working to provide news as it develops over social media and by email. This is a recap of some of this week’s highlights.

Below you can find information on the following topics:

  • Face Coverings for Essential Small Business
  • SNAP Food Benefits
  • State Re-Opening Plan
  • Unemployment Guidelines for Self-Employed

For more information about the state's response efforts visit ct.gov/coronavirus.

To receive text message notifications, sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system. To subscribe, text "COVIDCT" to 888-777.

FACE COVERINGS FOR ESSENTIAL SMALL BUSINESSES

The Lamont Administration, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) and CONNSTEP have announced a partnership to distribute free face coverings for eligible small businesses in Connecticut.

To be eligible to receive the free face coverings, small businesses must:

  • Have fewer than 50 employees
  • Be on the list of essential businesses as defined by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD)
  • Fill out the form found here

If approved, eligible small businesses will receive up to two face coverings per employee.

SNAP FOOD BENEFITS

Governor Lamont recently announced the state has received federal approval to provide $72.3 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to children who are eligible for the free and reduced-price meals program.

The highlights of the plan include:

  • $34 million for SNAP-eligible households
  • $38.3 million for non-SNAP-eligible households for school closures extending to May 20
  • Planned benefit is $267.90 per child
  • Since schools are not in session, children are automatically eligible for SNAP benefits and parents need not apply for them

Click here for further information.

STATE RE-OPENING PLAN

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic and daily information on cases and outcomes, we are finally seeing some steady progress towards re-opening.

Thanks to the social distancing measures we put in place and most everyone's cooperation and compliance, we have seen a daily decline in hospitalizations across the state.

As a result, Governor Lamont announced the state will begin a cautious, phased-in re-opening that is currently targeted to begin on May 20th. In order to re-open on the target 20th we will need reach certain criteria, which are listed below.

Many of us are anxious to resume our daily activities and interacting with family and friends, however we must do so responsibly. The health and strength of our businesses and economy depends on all of us.

I will keep you updated as we make progress and more details are released by the governor's advisory group.

The Connecticut Department of Labor has clarified the process for how self-employed can apply for unemployment insurance benefits under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

LABOR DEPARTMENT LAUNCHES NEW SYSTEM FOR SELF-EMPLOYED TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

The Connecticut Department of Labor began accepting claim applications for the self-employed, many who are eligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

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.

Applicants must receive a determination notice in the mail from the Connecticut Department of Labor before they can apply on the newly-designed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance online system that will also be located at www.filectui.com.

Self-employed individuals will follow this two-step application process:

Step 1). Beginning April 30:

  • File a regular state claim application with the Connecticut Department of Labor at www.filectui.com, using the BLUE button to file.
NOTE: Self-employed individuals who already filed a claim application through this system SHOULD NOT file again. The agency has these original claims and a duplicate is not needed.
  • After completing and submitting your application, look for an email from CTDOL: "Thank you for submitting your online application for unemployment compensation benefits with the Connecticut Department of Labor…Please look for a CONFIRMATION EMAIL notifying you that your claim has been processed. This email will include your NEXT STEPS information including instructions for when to start filing your weekly claims."
  • Look for a second email from CTDOL: “Your claim for benefits has been processed! If this is a new claim, then we are sending information regarding your claim via US mail.”
  • Look for your eligibility determination (Form UC-58 Monetary Determination) that must be sent through the US mail service.
    • If the UC-58 Monetary Determination shows that you have a “zero” weekly benefit rate (which means you do not have wage earnings in the state system) you are not eligible for state benefits and are eligible to file in the ReEmployCT system for self-employed individuals.
    • If the UC-58 Monetary Determination shows a weekly benefit rate, you have wage earnings in the state system and are entitled to collect state unemployment benefits.

Step 2).Once You Receive Your UC-58 in the Mail:

  • Go to CTDOL www.filectui.comfor the link to PUA button (this button will be posted to the site next week).
  • The PUA system will have a record of your state benefit ineligibility status.
  • Complete the PUA application
    • Applicants will need2019 IRS forms, 1099, 2019 W-2s, and Schedule C.
    • Applicants will be asked to provide earnings for 2019, broken down by quarters. Those without tax records for 2019 can self-attest their earnings but will be subject to audit. ·Applicants will be asked the date when COVID-19impacted their employment. Federal guidelines allow this to go back to Feb. 2, 2020. If an unemployed status goes back to retroactive weeks, the system asks the claimant for weekly earnings through the current week filing.
  • Once the PUA application is completed, if applicants did not select a payment method when filing under the state unemployment system, they will select their method of payment (direct deposit or debit card –the agency recommends direct deposit for much faster payment). Payment selection is made by returning to www.filectui.comandselecting the “method of payment” green button
FAQs located on the agency’s homepage are being updated to include a section on the PUA application process, guidelines and additional details.
If you have any additional questions, please visit the CT Department of Labor website or reach out to my office.