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Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance

Obtaining your unemployment benefits can seem like a difficult process to go through, and in some ways it is. And it comes at a time when you’re already preoccupied with finding new work. It can be difficult to want to devote any attention to getting unemployment benefits when you’re so busy in the job search. And yet, these benefits are there for you to help take the strain off of you during the challenging time of finding new work. Our firm can help workers who have been denied benefits and wish to appeal the denial. We can also help you if your employer has opposed your benefits and is seeking a hearing. We can help even before you apply for your benefits.

Applying for Connecticut Unemployment Benefits

To start the process, set up an account and complete the form online. If you experience difficulty setting up an account, there are phone numbers to call, and they generally are quite responsive and will work to help you get set up. They will even help you complete the form over the phone.

 

The Connecticut Department of Labor will then review your claim. Your employer may oppose your claim, but the burden is initially on the employer to establish that the worker is not entitled to benefits. The employer may oppose the claim, but it is up to the State to make its determination. If the employer claims that the employee quit or was fired for willful misconduct, the Department of Labor will schedule a hearing in which you will be able to present your side of the story.

In some cases, a worker may want to contact our firm before filing a claim to ensure that the information they provide is accurate and responsive to the requirements necessary for receiving unemployment benefits.

PRACTICE AREAS

Qualifying for Unemployment Benefits

Under Connecticut law, you are eligible for Unemployment benefits if:

  • Due to an employer’s reduction in work availability, you were either laid off or had your hours reduced due to your employer

  • You left your last job for good cause related to the job, such as due to unsafe working conditions

  • Your unemployment is a result of either you or your child being a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault

 

You are not eligible if you:

  • Left for personal reasons, reasons not related to work

  • Engaged in misconduct which resulted in your termination

  • Are not legally authorized to work in the United States

  • Are self-employed, full-time

  • Are receiving total workers’ compensation

  • Have a reasonable assurance of returning to work as an educational employee or professional athlete

 

The burden of proof is on the employer if they contest on the basis of employee misconduct. Willful misconduct is defined as “Careless or deliberate behavior that results in your suspension or discharge, such as dishonesty related to employment, unexcused absences, knowing violation of a company policy.”

 

Regarding a contest that the employee quit, there are exceptions. An employee who quit because of medical reasons which make them unable to perform a particular job, or who quit because of a shift change that prevents them from caring for their children, may not necessarily be deemed ineligible. Our firm can discuss these and other exceptions to determine if one applies.

 

​Our firm works to establish that clients are not guilty of misconduct or that if they quit they did so due to an exception. Our aim is to help clients qualify for unemployment compensation to help them return to work as soon as possible.

Receiving Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are paid for up to 26 weeks. Beginning after October 2, 2022, the maximum benefit amount is $703 per week. For many filers this can mean many thousands of dollars in benefits available to them.

 

The requirement is that you be available for work and that you conduct a job search, and report each week online. Connecticut operates a job center to assist in helping you get back to work.

 

This means that if you are unemployed because you are disabled and unable to work, or if you are on extended medical leave, you may not receive unemployment benefits.

 

Severance payments from an employer will also interfere with unemployment benefits. Our firm can help you in dealing with these issues in advance so that you will not owe back unemployment benefits received.

If you have had your hours reduced, you may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits.

Appealing a Connecticut Unemployment Benefits Denial

If you are determined to be ineligible for unemployment benefits, you have the right to appeal that decision. You must submit your appeal within 21 days of when the decision was sent to you. Similarly, the employer may appeal the decision if you were determined to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

 

Our firm can help you to file an appeal, but you do not need an attorney to file an appeal and must file on time. You can still contact our firm after you send your appeal.

 

After your appeal (or your employer’s appeal) is submitted, you will receive a Notice of Hearing in the mail. The notice will provide a date and time for a scheduled hearing. You must participate in the hearing in order to preserve your rights to benefits. Our firm can help you navigate the process from the beginning.

 

If you choose to do the appeal of the initial eligibility determination denying your benefits (or, if your employer does), in the hearing, an impartial Referee will hear both sides. The Referree will then render a decision and send it in writing after the hearing.

 

You may appeal that decision to the Board of Review. The Board will review the decision, along with the Referee’s hearing. The Board may schedule another hearing. Our firm can assist you with a hearing scheduled by the Board. The Board will then make a decision. That decision may be appealed to Superior Court, but it must be appealed within 30 days of the decision.

 

You must be extremely careful not to miss the several dates required for your responses.

 

Regardless of which situation an unemployed individual finds oneself in, our firm is available to discuss and provide help, and potentially represent you at a hearing.

Contact Us

Contact us if you need assistance in securing your rights to unemployment. Please call our firm directly at (203) 903-7650, or email us via cdunn@dunnemploymentlaw.com.

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DUNN LAW FIRM, LLC

(866) 912-5542

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Connecticut Office Address
By Appointment Only

Post Office Box 4124
Madison, Connecticut 06443

Telephone:
203-903-7650

(866) 912-5542

New York Office Address
By Appointment Only

1127 Fordham Lane
Woodmere, NY 11598

Telephone: 917-587-8153

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