Connecticut 's maximum unemployment insurance benefit will increase to $537 per week from the current $519, effective on Oct. 4, according to the state Labor Department. In addition, the maximum weekly workers' compensation rate for total disability and decedents' dependents will be $1,138 for injuries occurring on or after Oct. 1.

Unemployment comp

The new unemployment benefit rate applies to claims filed for the benefit year starting Oct. 4, 2009. The weekly dependency allowance for each dependent, at $15 with a maximum of $75, remains unchanged.

The revised benefit is based on average manufacturing wages for the year ending June 30, 2009. Increases are limited by law to $18 a year – or 60% of the average wage – whichever is less. In 2008-2009, those earnings averaged a record $921.16 weekly, up from the 2007-2008 average of $891.59 per week. The statutory limitation kept the increase this year to $18.

Currently, claimants may be eligible for 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits as well as an additional 33 weeks of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) and 13 weeks of federal Extended Benefits (EB). Under the federal stimulus program, claimants also receive an additional $25 in every benefits check through July of 2010.

Connecticut 's unemployment compensation benefit system is financed entirely by private-sector employers.

Workers' comp

The new workers' comp rate is equivalent to the estimated average weekly earnings of all employees in Connecticut . The maximum workers' comp for partial disability will be $922 for injuries occurring on or after Oct. 1—estimated average weekly earnings of production and related workers in manufacturing.

For more information, contact CBIA's Kia Murrell at 860-244-1931 or kia.murrell@cbia.com.