The Connecticut Department of Labor has begun issuing the first round of weekly federal stimulus payments to filers receiving state unemployment benefits, following upgrades to its computer system.
The first payments were issued this past weekend, the department said.
The additional $600 weekly payment, known as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, was created as part of the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is retroactive to March 29 and will be provided through July 25. For those who already received unemployment benefits for previous weeks – such as April 4, 11, and 18 – the agency will be providing retroactive payments as a lump sum by the end of this week.
Claimants can check their online accounts at filectui.com. Those who receive payments through direct deposit should begin seeing the additional amount appearing in their bank accounts by today, the department said.
The first $600 payments totaled more than $89 million. When combined with nearly $51 million issued in state benefits, the agency provided $140 million in unemployment benefits last weekend.
“There are hundreds of thousands in our state relying on our Department of Labor to help get them through this crisis, and the state’s loyal and hard-working team never lost sight of that,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “This is a difficult time for so many, and I appreciate that these new benefits are being distributed.”
“The task was complicated, due to a 40-year-old mainframe using a COBOL operating system,” Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby. “Despite these challenges, we have now processed over 340,000 of the 402,000 claim applications filed since March 13.”
The Labor Department is continuing to implement the remaining two recently established federal stimulus programs:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides benefits for self-employed individuals among others, and
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, a 13-week extension that allows eligible claimants to collect the additional weeks after exhausting the 26 weeks of state benefits.
The agency expects to begin accepting applications for PUA on April 30 and plans to have PEUC in operation by mid-May. Both programs will be retroactive.