CT Dept. Of Labor: ReEmployCT Has Successful First Week
Week Two Priorities Include Expansion of Contact Center Hours
(Wethersfield, CT) – Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo today provided an update on the state’s new unemployment benefits and tax system, ReEmployCT. The new platform was launched on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at noon and more than 18,000 claimants have already filed for benefits. In just one week, CTDOL has paid out $8.5M in unemployment benefits in the new system. The agency expects these numbers to continue to grow as ReEmployCT allows claimants to file for two consecutive weeks.
Commissioner Bartolomeo said, “ReEmployCT has officially wrapped up its first production week and has shown a very strong start, but there is still quite a bit of work to do. The benefit to the new system is that filers are able to use ReEmployCT 24/7—they are no longer constrained by the limitations on the old system. However, claimant questions about the new system have created a high call volume in the Consumer Contact Center; our priority in week two is to get those wait times down for filers.”
Currently, the Consumer Contact Center—stood up in July 2020 with $4 million in pandemic federal funding—is at maximum staff capacity with 140 highly-skilled claims representatives assisting callers, handling cases filed online, and returning calls to claimants who have used the online scheduler to make an appointment.
Consumer Contact Center Director Angel Rivera said, “In the weeks prior to launch, our claims agents handled about 6,800 calls and cases each week. This week, we’ve already exceeded 17,000 calls and cases. These calls take longer than usual—about 45 minutes per call—so we’ve bolstered our usual contingent of about 90 agents to 140 agents. Additionally, we will temporarily expand Contact Center hours beginning on Saturday. This will give people more access to our experts and help reduce wait times.”
Beginning on Saturday, July 16, 2022, the Consumer Contact Center expanded hours will be Monday – Friday from 6 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Agents will use the first and last hour of every weekday to handle internet cases and will take calls from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. On Saturdays, agents will take calls from 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
TIPS FROM THE CONSUMER CONTACT CENTER:
- The most common error that filers make is opening a new claim when they already have an active claim. Just like in the old system, filers with an active continuing claim need to submit a weekly certification. CTDOL has posted step-by-step screenshots on our website to help filers.
- Take your time doing your weekly certification. If your Social Security number or other details do not match our records, we will hold your claim to prevent fraud.
- Be fraud aware. Do not share your log in credentials, driver’s license, Social Security numbers or any other identifying information with anyone other than the agents at the Consumer Contact Center. Be aware especially of social media scams offering to help get claims or payments processed faster. Only CTDOL has access to claims information.
IF YOU NEED TO REACH A CLAIMS EXPERT:
The most important thing filers with questions can do is schedule a callback; keep their phones with them; answer all calls (even ‘potential spam’); and stay on the line during a hold time. Currently, using the scheduling feature is faster than calling in to the Contact Center.
Do not schedule more than one appointment. Filers who schedule multiple appointments are taking spots away from others who have questions, and it requires staff time for agents to identify and remove multiple appointments. CTDOL estimates that up to 50% of our callback appointments are duplicates. There may be delays as agents handle appointment callbacks, but once a filer is in the calendar system, they will receive a call and should not make another appointment.
The timelines for claims and payments under ReEmployCT remain the same as they were in the old systems. New applications are submitted by the filer, verified by CTDOL, and filers then receive a decision on their eligibility. If eligible for unemployment benefits, filers must log in to ReEmployCT each week to certify their claims—they submit to the agency that they are still unemployed and their work search activities.
Once a filer has submitted their weekly certification and is eligible, the payment is made either through debit card or direct deposit usually within 3-7 days. For claimants selecting debit cards for the first time, it could take up to 14 days. When the weekly filer numbers are lower, this payment timeline is closer to three days; during times of high demand, the timeline is closer to seven days.