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.

12 comments

  • 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.

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