May 7, 2020

Senator Haskell Encourages Self-Employed Individuals Out of Work to Complete Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Applications

As of today, the Department of Labor website is officially accepting Pandemic Unemployment Compensation applications. State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) encourages self-employed people, independent contractors and gig workers to file for unemployment benefits by visiting

“My constituents have waited for weeks to apply for unemployment benefits, I want to get the word out that the brand new application portal is now active on the Department of Labor’s website,” said Sen. Haskell. “Every day, my team fields calls from constituents who are struggling to afford basic supplies due to a sudden loss in income. These families need help, and I hope they’ll apply right away. If constituents run into any issues, please don’t hesitate to call my office at 860-240-0068.”

Department of Labor staff say applicants can receive payments in about a week if their applications are approved. The link to Pandemic Unemployment Compensation went live Thursday, May 7. Applicants must first file a claim for unemployment. Once they receive a UC-58 form in response to that claim, they can then click the red button on the website and file for the PUA program.

Department of Labor staff said claimants should be careful when submitting information; applications for state benefits and PUA must match. The DOL said more than 38,000 people have already completed the first step of the application process. Staff advises choosing a direct deposit option to receive funds in an accelerated manner. The benefit range is from $198 to $649 based on earnings, and will include, at least, the weekly minimum rate, $15 per dependency up to five, and $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments, possibly backdated as far as April 4. If self-reported wages can be validated by the DOL, claims will be redetermined at higher rates. A bug in the system caused a delay from the original expected date of April 30.