Skip to content

Connecticut launches new online unemployment system

The Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) has launched a new more streamlined unemployment filing process for both workers and employers to replace its outdated 40-year old system.

According to DOL, the new system will replace “several systems” previously used by the department, has a single sign-on for users, eliminates the need to fax or mail documents, reduces manual processing, and improves accounting and data processing.

“This system will make it easier for everyone who uses the unemployment system,” DOL Commissioner Dante Bartolomeo said in a video statement. “It is one system that replaces several systems currently in use at the agency.”

Bartolemeo added that filing for unemployment is “complex” but the ReEmployCT system can add features to help claimants navigate the process.

“Connecticut is part of a coalition of states using the ReEmploy system—it helps Connecticut save money on operational costs and allowed us to bring in federal funding to develop, build, and launch the new system,” DOL wrote on the ReEmployCT webpage.

The system upgrade is part of a federal government program called ReEmployUSA. Connecticut joined Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Rhode Island to implement the technology change. According to a CT DOL project update to the U.S. DOL, Connecticut requested $25 million for the system upgrade and the contractual agreement was finalized in April of 2018.

Although the program to bring Connecticut’s unemployment system into the 21st century began several years ago, it faced a two-year delay with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw Connecticut unemployment claims skyrocket to previously unforeseen levels in 2020.

The massive spike in unemployment claims following the government’s shutdown of restaurants, entertainment venues and other businesses also caused long delays for claimants seeking unemployment benefits as the DOL was overwhelmed with claims.

The DOL hired additional staff during the pandemic to assist with unemployment claims managing to reduce the 4-6 week application backlog to 1-3 days at the agency’s consumer contact center, according to DOL’s year in review, but reports of people waiting long periods for their unemployment claims continued throughout 2020.

The new system will streamline the process and allow both claimants and employers online access to the DOL’s unemployment system, but Maine’s ReEmploy system, which was introduced prior to the COVID pandemic, also faced similar delays due to the surge in claims.

Connecticut’s unemployment rate was 4.2 percent for May of 2022, tying for 39th highest in the nation along with Hawaii and Texas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, above the national average, which stands at 3.6 percent.

Connecticut currently has 100,000 job openings, according to CT DOL, as businesses say they struggle to find workers to fill positions.

Users will need to create a new username and password to access the system to get access to their account.

Marc E. Fitch, Senior Investigative Reporter

Marc E. Fitch

Marc worked as an investigative reporter for Yankee Institute and was a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow. He previously worked in the field of mental health is the author of several books and novels, along with numerous freelance reporting jobs and publications. Marc has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Western Connecticut State University.

Leave a Reply

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