Sen. Berthel Joins Calls for Updates from DOL on Unemployment Processing, Status of Claims

April 20, 2020

Watertown – State Senator Eric Berthel (R-32) was joined by the entire Senate Republican Caucus in a letter sent to Connecticut’s Department of Labor (DOL) making very specific requests for detailed information surrounding how the agency is handling the sharp surge in new unemployment claims.

View the letter here.

The letter included the following asks:

  1. A summary of the 60,000 claim test performed on April 15, 2020,
  2. How many claims have been processed since the system upgrades were implemented,
  3. How many outstanding claims remain,
  4. Whether or not the Department remains on track to begin distributing the additional weekly $600 benefit in federal stimulus funds by April 24th
  5. Whether or not Department remains on track to begin the new benefit program for self-employed individuals by April 30th
  6. A timeline for processing claims over the phone.
  7. A timeline for being able to address case specific questions over the phone.

Last week, Gov. Lamont announced that there were soon-to-be-implemented technological upgrades at the DOL which will reduce the six-week processing time to a single week.

“I am optimistic that the Governor and Department of Labor provided us with an accurate forecast of when the tens of thousands of backlogged unemployment claims will be processed, and also how DOL’s technology upgrade will enable it to begin paying Federal unemployment benefits to residents who are out of work because of COVID-19,” said Sen. Berthel.

“However, this solution still does not address residents in need who cannot access the internet to file a claim. In addition, my constituents still do not know if their application is complete, why they aren’t yet receiving benefits and the overall status of their claim. People in this state are hurting, need answers now and need to be made whole,” he said.