How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Connecticut?

Connecticut requires you to have earned at least 40 times the WBA. The minimum WBA is $15, so the minimum amount you must earn in the entire base period is $600. The WBA is computed by multiplying the HWQ by 1/26.

Therefore, you must have worked during at least one quarter of the base period in order to qualify for unemployment insurance in Connecticut.

Connecticut offers both an extended base period and an alternate base period. The alternate base period uses the last four completed calendar quarters of the base period. The extended base period uses the last four completed calendar quarters of the base period before you were injured/disabled/sick.

In Connecticut an employer or employing unit is covered under unemployment insurance if it paid at least $1,500 in wages during any calendar quarter in the current or previous calendar year. Further, an employer/employing unit is also covered under unemployment insurance if it paid wages to at least one employee and employed said worker at least one day per week during the 20 weeks of the current or previous calendar year.

36 comments

  • Linda

    Hi, Your information is very helpful. I have a question regarding my 23 yr daughters recent Ct employment. She was hired by the Diocese to work part time as a teacher in a local catholic grammar school She was hired mid January and finished out the school year. She was hired without contract for next year for this position. she worked 22 weeks earning (after taxes $6,947) They have offered her a different position as a first grade teacher for the same school for the up coming school year. Full time with bene’s etc…can she collect unemployment for this summer as she has no work. She graduated in Dec 2016 in Florida but did work as a waitress in Ct summers 2015 and 2014 (not 2016) 1. will she have earned enough credits for her recent work as a teacher…she realizes she will not be eligible for next summer as she would be under contract for that year. She was told by someone at the school the the Bridgeport Diocese has a “deal” with CT unemployment that they do not have to pay unemployment..2. Is this true…..thus this questions
    Many thanks Linda

    • Benefits are based on BEFORE TAX (gross) income. In CT she needs to have earned $600, or 40x her weekly benefit amount. She’s earned more than enough to qualify.

      In most states, for school employees, if there is reasonable assurance of reemployment, she would be ineligible. You said this:

      They have offered her a different position as a first grade teacher for the same school for the up coming school year.

      No doubt the Diocese will so tell CT and CT may deny. However, she should apply anyway on the off-chance she would be approved. Of course, this might annoy the Diocese.

  • Ryan

    If I worked in Ct for 3/12 weeks and made 2200 $ and then fired for not being up to par am I eligible for Ct unemployment!

  • Linda

    Hi, I have worked part time for my employer since 1990 and now the medical practice is closing so Ive been laid off as of today june 14, 2017. I also was independent contractor with another medical office for the last 15 years…that office changed owners and I was let go June 2 2017…but I was not “employed’ by them so can not include that income. So now I have no income…I am looking for independent contracting work and employment as well I filed out the online claim and it asked for the last week worked salary 480.00 (employed 16 hours a week) and then the amount of the last 6 months which was $7380.00 but had 3 weeks off unpaid vacation)…how will they figure out what my unemployment benefit would be

    • CT will use W-2 wages in its database earned between 4/1/2016-3/31/2017, not what you tell them.

      DO NOT TAKE ANY FURTHER CONTRACTING 1099 WORK UNTIL YOU HAVE APPLIED AND BEEN INTERVIEWED. If you can, wait until the claim is actually approved before doing any further free-lance 1099 work.

      If your last employment before this claim is established is 1099 work, you are ineligible. Be very careful about this.

  • Dee

    Can 16 yr old collect unemployment if he worked at a job since November & they now told him on JUne 7th they dont need him anymore. He has made over the $600 in that time.

  • Rachel Wt

    I just move to US, and start to work when I got my green card on February/2017.
    My schedule was from Monday to Friday – 40 hours a week.

    My boss went on vocation and asked me to do not go to work during his vocation (one week), the week later, I got fired.

    I actually worked for 18 weeks (one of this weeks I was out in Germany for my marriage, which I told them before they hired me, and one week I did not work because they asked me to stay home during his vocation)

    This was my first job in US, am I able to apply for unemployment from this company?

    • Yes. CT will use earnings through 3/31/2017 to qualify you. If, for some reason CT can’t qualify you now, reapply after July 2nd at which time CT will be able to use wages through 6/30/2017 if necessary.

  • fern

    I was working in CT for several years and was laid off in July 2016. I collected and exhausted unemployment benefits by early January 2017.

    For the next 5 or 6 months I worked freelance jobs where no taxes were deducted, so I realize I can’t use this work toward unemployment benefits.

    Then in May/June, I found a f/t contract job (where taxes were deducted from my pay) lasting about 5 weeks and grossing roughly $9500.

    I live in CT. The recruiting agency that hired me and which paid me, is in NY. The client I work for is in CT.

    Could I possibly seek benefits in NY?

    • You won’t qualify in NY. NY can’t use your May/June wages until July 2nd or later. Further, because NY requires two quarters of earnings, the only base year NY can use at that time will be July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017 and your W-2 earnings appear in only one quarter ending 6/30/2017. You have no eligibility in NY now or in July.

      However, you are eligible for another CT claim when the current CT benefit year expires – also in July. That is only a few weeks away. Your recent work in May/June allows CT to use the LAG (unused earnings) from your earlier claim and create another claim. The benefit may not be as high or as long, but you do have eligibility. Apply in CT in July the week your current benefit year expires. Be prepared to provide proof of earnings for May/June as CT’s database may not be current and/or earnings may have been reported to NY.

  • Betty

    Hello – I was employed in ct from 2013-dec 2016. I collected unemployment thru ct Jan 2017 then started at job in NY feb. There is talk of layoffs next week. I don’t yet qualify for NY unemployment- would i still qualify for ct ?

    • Yes, your CT claim is still valid and will not expire until Jan. 2018. Therefore, when you are laid off, you REOPEN the CT claim on which there are probably at least 22 weeks’ benefits not yet paid out.

      When the CT claim is exhausted in November, earliest, if you are still unemployed, you then apply in NY and ask for a combined-wage claim. In November, NY will use an earnings base period July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017, which will include what remains of the CT earnings (at least one, possibly two quarters of 2016 wages) and all the NY earnings.

  • Norman

    I am working in conneticut right now but i am from ny, i will be here working for about 4-5 weeks, working over 80 hours a week making around 7k a week, will i be able to get CT unemployment when i get layed off?

  • Jhe

    I was hired March 6 2017 and just got fired for making 5 instead of 6 sales. I got paid salary of $600 a week plus commission. Would I be able to receive unemployment?

    Thank you

  • Krista

    I am a CT resident. I was laid off for five months between October and March and collected unemployment benefits. I started a new job on March 20th and layoffs are looking again. Will I be able to collect again? If so, will the five months of unemployment be considered to calculate my benefits? I was previously earning 79k annually and qualified for the max of $536 weekly.

    • You call CT to REOPEN your existing clam. CT may also have an online link for that, as well. You probably have at least another four weeks benefits left which you can claim. CT will investigate this most recent separation before it pays benefits. Once those benefits are exhausted, you are not allowed to file another CT claim until Oct. 2017 – only one claim may be filed per benefit year.

  • Nancie Reynolds

    I am a CT resident who began a full-time, contract role at a CT company on January 9th. My contract is due to end May 26. Prior to this position I worked for a little over 6 months at a company in NYC (May – October).

    Am I eligible to collect CT UIE?

    • You have eligibility for two back-to-back claims in two states. First, apply in NY. When that claim is exhausted, then apply in CT. Otherwise, if you prefer a CT claim, apply in CT and ask for a combined wage claim to include the NY earnings.

      CT and NY both figure weekly benefit the same way – take average earnings of two highest quarters and divided by 26 – not to exceed $430 in NY and $598 in CT. If you are highly paid, you may prefer to apply in CT and forego the opportunity for two claims.

      • Nancie Reynolds

        Thank you Daphne for getting back to me. Just so I understand. I worked for most of 2016 for NYC companies. I’ve worked since 1/9/17 for a CT company as a full-time contractor. The role will end 5/26. Even though I’ve worked for a CT company for a short period of time I can claim CT UIE? I’d much rather claim in CT vs. NY.

        • Under its alternate base period, CT could use only the Jan-Mar 2017 earnings to qualify you, but the number of weeks paid would be small. Therefore, you need to file a combined-wage claim to include NY earnings in order to get a decent claim. Speak to a rep when you file your claim – ask for a combined-wage claim.

  • melanie

    I was unemployed on Friday January 27. That night I registered with unemployment so that I would be able to file my claim the following week. I was unemployed for three days (due to lay off. I worked in construction) and was able to find a job which I started the following thursday.

    I am being told by DOL that I can’t receive unemployment compensation for the three days I was unemployed because I started working so soon.

    I see nothing on the DOL website stating that there is a minimum number of days i am required to be unemployed in order to receive benefits. I worked at my previous employer for 2 years and 4 months so I meet all the requirements listed for eligibility.

    I feel that I am eligible for the three days (24 hours) of wages that I lost due to being laid off. Am I incorrect? Is there a hidden clause somewhere on the website that states I need to be unemployed for the entire week or something?

    I also forgot to mention that this is the 4th time I have been laid off in 4 years. (i have opted to work in a field other than construction now 🙂 ) I am no stranger to filing for benefits and this is the first time I have run into this. Seems like they are trying to get out of compensating me.

    • I am not aware of any provision in CT’s law which says returning to work three days after layoff prevents payment of benefits for those three days. Nor does CT have an unpaid waiting week.

      Connecticut pays benefits if you’ve worked part-time, which you did. You worked two days out of five, or 40% of a normal work week.

      What weekly benefit amount did CT assign you?

      Benefit is usually 50% of average weekly wage in your two highest quarters of the base period. Filing in January, CT would have used wages October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016 to establish your weekly benefit.

      When you work part-time, CT deducts 67% of your gross wages from the WBA. Is there anything left over? If so, CT should have paid you at least that amount. CT will not pay at all if your earnings equal WBA+50%.

      To put it another way, earnings in your base period have been an average of $1,000 wk, or $200 day. Therefore, your weekly benefit amount is $500. During the layoff, you worked two days and earned $400. $400×67%=$268. CT should pay you $232 ($500-$268=$232).

      You might want to email your elected state representative if you want to pursue this. Find yours, here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp

  • James stringer

    I have a small business related to health care. I hired a new employee 6 weeks and during last 6 weeks she called off twice and showed up late 5 times. I gave her a written warning and advised her to be on time, but she appeared late the next day again. We have scheduled patient and it hurts our patients and business if employee is not responsible.
    I wanted to know if I let her go, can she still collect unemployment? I heard it’s much easier to let her go now than to wait because I don’t think her behavior is going to change.

    • Yes, do this sooner rather than later. Issue another warning about this second event, and tell her in writing the third time this happens she will be discharged. Given the documented pattern of this behavior and the warnings, CT should not pay benefits.

      • James stringer

        I have the text messages that she sent me every time she came late or called off. Are they sufficient or I should give her another warning and wait for her to do the same thing again.

        • Give her another warning. The next time she is late or absent, she will be discharged. However, if she pleads medical reasons, you won’t be able to do that and avoid benefits. Be sure when you do discharge her, it is not because she was late or absent because of medical issues for either her or her family/children/husband. The last event rules. If she pleads medical, CT will grant the claim.

          • James stringer

            I asked her if it’s a medical reason for herself or her family then bring me a note from doctor, but she said she had emergencies and emergency doesn’t necessarily have to be medical. A couple of times she said she had car issues, while other times she won’t even tell me why she called off.

          • Emergency is not a free pass for absences/tardiness. Car issues are personal and not the fault of the employer.

            Issue the warning documenting all her absences/tardiness thus far, informing her the third warning will be her last and she will be discharged. Do not ask for medical evidence unless she offers that as a reason for her next absence/tardiness. In the absence of medical, next event discharge her.

            When she applies for benefits, CT will contact you. You respond discharge for excessive absence/tardiness after warnings. This is considered misconduct no matter what she says.

            CT will deny. She may appeal. At the appeal hearing, you present documentation of all events and her excuses for same, your warnings, etc. She should not get benefits absent good medical reasons for her continued misconduct.

  • Pam

    I exhausted my unemployment in Nov 2016. Had per diem work and seasonal one day a week job. Once the seasonal work ends in June, can I file for UI?

    • You can refile for benefits when your first benefit year expires. Be sure to do that at benefit year expiration to take advantage of LAG from the first claim – whether or not you are working. For example, if you filed in May 2016, collected for six months and benefits were exhausted in November, you can refile in May 2017.

      Once a new claim is established, you can file for weekly benefits for the weeks you work part-time. If you are working full-time, you can REOPEN that new claim when full-time work ends.

      Absolutely, since you’ve been working during this current benefit year, refile at expiration. Your recent earnings create eligibility for another claim.

  • Michael Colby

    If I started working on Sept 19, 2016 and was laid off on Jan. 20, 2017 will I be able to get unemployment from this company? My rate of pay was $34.00 per hour.

    • What is your work history? CT will first consider wages 10/2015-9/2016, then look at wages Jan-Dec. 2016. Figure your weekly benefit amount by dividing your high quarter wages by 26. Are your total wages in either of those base periods equal to 40x that result? Then, you probably qualify.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *