CTDOL is working with federal partners to make the transition as easy as possible for CARES Act claimants whose benefits expired prior to the President’s signature on the new legislation.
Please continue to check this page for updates and do not call the Contact Center for new information. The Contact Center will direct all callers to this page.
December 29, 2020: Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby today provided an update on the Emergency Coronavirus Recovery Act of 2020, known as the CARES Act extension. The law protects Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs; allocates an additional $300 per week benefit for all claimants for up to 11 weeks; extends the interest waiver for Trust Fund borrowing; and continues 100% federal funding for the Shared Work program.
Key components of the law include:
- For all claimants: a new Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) allocation of $300 per week for up to 11 weeks. Claimants can expect benefits by mid-January.
- For ~35,000 PUA participants: 11-week program extension for a total of 50 weeks. Program eligibility ends March 13, 2021, last week of benefits is paid by week ending April 10, 2021, for those who have remaining weeks as of March 13, 2021. State labor agencies are waiting for official U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) guidance on details, however, USDOL has signaled these are expected to be continuous benefits for eligible claimants beginning on the day the CARES Act expired.
- For ~29,000 PEUC customers: 11-week extension to a total of 24 weeks with the last week paid by week ending April 10, 2021, for those who have remaining weeks as of March 13, 2021. Program eligibility ends March 13, 2021. Claimants who are currently receiving Extended Benefits (EB) will stay on that program until it is exhausted before potentially becoming eligible for the additional weeks of PEUC.
- Trust Fund interest waiver extension until March 14, 2021. This reduces the financial liability for Connecticut companies that pay a special assessment to repay interest on Trust Fund borrowing. Currently, the state has borrowed $485M for the Trust Fund. The agency has requested $400M for the first quarter of 2021. This request may not reflect actual spending—weekly spending is currently above $20M and expected to experience a seasonal increase.
- Extends the 50% reimbursement provision for local and state government and nonprofit organizations.
- Extends the 100% federal funding forShared Work. Shared Work helps employers avoid layoffs by allowing them to use unemployment benefits to cover a reduction in hours. During economic downturns, employers can reduce costs but avoid layoffs. Employees stay attached to jobs and benefits even with reduced hours.
- There is no disruption in state unemployment benefits or extended benefits due to this legislation.
State labor agencies must wait for guidance from U.S. Department of Labor before implementing many new unemployment provisions. Guidance is released in the form of Unemployment Insurance Program Letters that generally come out within several weeks of changes to the law. Since these are extensions of existing programs with operational funding structures, CTDOL does not expect significant delays on the state side, but cannot operationalize the provisions in the absence of federal guidance. Updates on implementation timing and program details will be released and posted towww.FileCTUI.comas they become available.