Unemployment Compensation

HR & Safety

The Connecticut Unemployment Compensation Act provides financial benefits to workers who become partially or fully unemployed.
The act is administered by the Employment Security Division of the Connecticut Department of Labor.
Most employers are required to contribute to the unemployment compensation fund through a system of payroll taxes.
Employer charge rates are established on a yearly basis and are determined by an employer’s payroll and past liability for benefits. An experience account is maintained for each employer against which benefits paid are allocated and charged.
To be eligible for benefits, an individual must (1) timely file a claim for benefits and register for work; (2) be physically and mentally able to work; and (3) be available for full-time work and make reasonable efforts to obtain work.
Employees may be disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits for the following reasons:

  • Failure to apply for or accept suitable work
  • Termination for inability to perform job duties due to failing a drug test required under state or federal law
  • Leaving suitable work voluntarily and without good cause attributable to the employer (with few exceptions)
  • Discharge for felonious or larcenous conduct
  • Discharge for wilful misconduct, which is defined to include:

–Deliberate misconduct in willful disregard of the employer’s interest; or
–A 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; or
–Absent without notice or good cause for three separate instances within an 18-month period

  • Discharge for just cause (a single act of willful misconduct that seriously endangers the life, safety, or property of the employer, co-workers, or the general public) Note: As of Oct. 1, 2001, the just cause provision will be eliminated. (Public Act 01-37)
  • Termination as a result of a labor dispute

Unemployment Benefits

The new maximum weekly unemployment compensation benefit increased from $594 to $598, effective Oct. 4 2015. The new rate applies to claims filed for the benefit year starting on and after Oct. 4, 2015. Individuals who established a claim prior to Oct. 4 and who have been collecting unemployment benefits will be unaffected by the increase.
The weekly dependency allowance—$15 for each dependent, with a maximum of $75—remains unchanged.
The annual revision of the maximum weekly unemployment benefit is based on average manufacturing wages for the year ending June 30, 2015. The increase is limited by law to $18 per year, or 60 percent of the average, whichever is less.
For the 12 months ending Aug. 31, 2015, regular benefits averaged $326 per week and claimants received an average of 17.9 weeks of compensation. The prior year shows weekly benefit payments averaging $319 for an average of 18 weeks.
State unemployment benefits are funded by an assessment paid by approximately 98,000 Connecticut employers. The assessment is based on the first $15,000 of each worker’s annual wage.

Unemployment Compensation Decisions

At the administrative level, the Employment Security Appeals Division decides appeals of unemployment compensation cases.
Certain decisions are designated as “precedent cases.” These are cases that the Board considers important, and are viewed as controlling authority in future cases.
Cases cover a variety of issues under the Unemployment Compensation Act and can be useful authority when appealing a claim.
Click here to see copies of recent decisions, including precedent decisions.

Federal Unemployment Compensation

Information about Federal Unemployment Compensation is available from the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

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