Self-Employed Can Apply for Federal Unemployment Benefits

Connecticut Department of Labor launches new system today for self-employed to apply for federal unemployment benefits

On April 30, the State Department of Labor  began accepting claim applications for the self-employed, many of whom are eligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program.

Federal guidelines require that self-employed individuals, including independent contractors and “gig” workers, first apply through the Connecticut unemployment system located at www.filectui.com. Applicants must receive a determination notice in the mail from the Connecticut Department of Labor before they can apply on the newly-designed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance online system that will also be located at www.filectui.com.

Self-employed individuals must follow this two-step application process:

  • STEP ONE: Beginning April 30
  • File a regular state claim application with the Connecticut Department of Labor at www.filectui.com using the BLUE button to file.
  • NOTE: Self-employed individuals who already filed a claim application through this system should not file again. The agency has these original claims and a duplicate is not needed.
  • After completing and submitting an application, claimants should look for an email from the Connecticut Department of Labor stating, “Thank you for submitting your online application for unemployment compensation benefits with the Connecticut Department of Labor. … Please look for a CONFIRMATION EMAIL notifying you that your claim has been processed. This email will include your NEXT STEPS information including instructions for when to start filing your weekly claims.”
  • Claimants should then be on the lookout for a second email from the Connecticut Department of Labor stating, “Your claim for benefits has been processed! If this is a new claim then we are sending information regarding your claim via US mail.”
  • Claimants should then look for their eligibility determination (Form UC-58 Monetary Determination) that must be sent through the US mail service.
  • If the UC-58 Monetary Determination shows that the claimant has a “zero” weekly benefit rate (which means they do not have wage earnings in the state system) they are not eligible for state benefits and are eligible to file in the ReEmployCT system for self-employed individuals.
  • If the UC-58 Monetary Determination shows a weekly benefit rate, they have wage earnings in the state system and are entitled to collect state unemployment benefits.
  • STEP TWO: Once the UC-58 has been received via US mail
  • Go to www.filectui.com and click the PUA button.
  • The PUA system will have a record of the claimant’s state benefit ineligibility status.
  • Complete the PUA application.
  • Applicants will need their 2019 IRS forms, 1099, 2019 W-2s, and Schedule C. Applicants will be asked to provide earnings for 2019, broken down by quarters. Those without tax records for 2019 can self-attest their earnings, but will be subject to audit.
  • Applicants will be asked the date when COVID-19 impacted their employment. Federal guidelines allow this to go back to February 2, 2020. If an unemployed status goes back to retroactive weeks, the system asks the claimant for weekly earnings through the current week filing.
  • Once the PUA application is completed, if applicants did not select a payment method when filing under the state unemployment system, they will select their method of payment (direct deposit or debit card – the agency recommends direct deposit for much faster payment). Payment selection is made by returning to www.filectui.com and selecting the “method of payment” green button.

A frequently asked questions document located on the Connecticut Department of Labor’s website is being updated to include a section on the PUA application process, guidelines, and additional details.