Government Shutdown
10:27 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Continue During Federal Government Shutdown

Workers at the Connecticut Department of Labor call center.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

People currently collecting unemployment benefits in Connecticut won’t be impacted by the federal shutdown. Also, federal employees who are out of work can apply for benefits.

Last week, the Connecticut Department of Labor provided unemployment benefits to nearly 70,000 people. Director of Research Andrew Condon said claimants would continue to receive payments. “The funding stream for the unemployment insurance system is not at risk,” he pointed out.

More than 9,400 federal employees, earning over $14 million in wages each week, will potentially be affected in Connecticut by the federal government’s first shutdown in 17 years. “Most of them work in public administration," said Condon, "but there’s a smattering in all kinds of activities, ranging from financial services, people operating real estate management programs, federal government museums, parks..."

According to Judy Luther, head of the labor department’s benefits program for federal employees, government employees who may be newly unemployed as a result of the shutdown can file a claim if they worked in Connecticut for a federal employer, or if they commuted from another state to work here. She said, “We do request that individuals be prepared to provide proof of wages for these federal employers to return with the affidavit. And our office is ready to take on the increase in workload, so there should not be any delay in benefits.”  

To initiate claims, federal employees should call the TeleBenefits phone number by location listed on the state labor department’s website at www.ct.gov/dol.

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