Ct Unemployment claims: state can't get act together, unemployed get shaft again

Now that I have joined the ranks of the unemployed I can personally appreciate all the emails and complaints I had received while working at The Courant from those who lost their jobs and could not get through on the Internet to file their complaints.

I will keep everyone abrest about my situation (as well as yours if you want to share) and maybe we can put some pressure on the Governor to do more.

I woke up during the middle of the night and at 3:30 a.m. today attempted to file my first request for compensation after having worked steady for 43 years – three in the US Army and 40 at the Courant.

I was greeted with the followin signs on the site: Connecticut Department of Labor
Unemployment Insurance Claims System – System Unavailable  –



Initial Claim Hours of Operation:
  Monday – Friday 08:00 A.M. – 04:00 P.M.


In an effort to improve our online service, routine maintenance will be performed on our claim filing and inquiry applications Sundays and Mondays between 12 p.m. and 12:15 p.m. While these applications will be inaccessible during that time online, they will be available on our TeleBenefits Line.
Well that made perfect sense on why it wasn’t working this morning.



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77 Comments on "Ct Unemployment claims: state can't get act together, unemployed get shaft again"

  1. George Gombossy | August 25, 2009 at 7:05 am |

    At 6:45 a.m. Tueday the same message was still up.
    The dog

    • Eat A Peach | August 25, 2009 at 8:27 am |

      If you think that’s bad, you should try getting Unemployment in Pennsylvania. An hour or more wait times on the call-in automatic phone number (and that’s without trying to get in touch with a “real” human being and not the robot voice recognition service) and days of trying to get your claim filed online only to get a half or 3/4 of the way through the claim and be dropped off the site due to the increased demand of service from the server (PA has an almost 18% unemployment rate in many areas).

      • Id rather be put on hold for an hour and get through than not get through at all! Here in CT we can only call on certain days based on ss#. Then do the 1st part of the claim to be told there is to high of a hold time and then get hung up on! I cant use the online system because i had 2 jobs in the last year… I have a child and need to have something to get through until i can get employed again… This is crazy! If they dont have enough ppl to process claim, higher some! There are enough ppl unemployed that they should have no problem finding help…

        • i been trying to get a hold of some one for a week the phone will hang up they better serves thin what the got it crazy it is ridiculous i have bill that i need to pay now i am behind

          • It’s crazy, it’s January 2017 and this is still happening! I’ve been trying since December 15th and still can’t get through. I initially filed online but was told that I need to call since they need more info. I’m still not able to reach anyone!

  2. I guess with all the complaining I do here in New York City, we’re lucky with regards to our UI site in that it appears to work without any problems (at least none that I have encountered since I filed back in Jan 2009). Every Sunday morning I log on and enter my claim for the week and as long as I do so early enough on Sunday, my whopping $430 (405 from NYS & 25 from the Feds) gets direct deposited on Wednesday into my checking account.

    • Better than the 152 a week I get. Started schhol to better myself, can’t get a hold of anyone. 0 income for 2 weeks now

  3. George Gombossy | August 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |

    at 4:23 p.m. Internet site still down
    The dog

  4. Linda Lissack | August 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm |

    Hi, George:

    I can only speak to my own experience and not that of other people, but I have been collecting unemployment benefits here in Connecticut for quite some time, having been laid off last year. I have never encountered any difficulties with either the telephone system or the on-line claims system, and my benefits have been processed pretty darned quickly and efficiently. When I have needed to speak to a representative at DOL by phone, then yes I had to wait on hold while they took calls from people who were ahead of me in line. That’s to be expected, since we have been seeing an unprecedented number of layoffs and the staff at DOL probably have been swamped. The best thing to do about that is just settle in with a cup of coffee or tea and have something to read or do while you are hanging out waiting on hold. (My only complaint is that their hold music was too repetitive!) When I did get my turn speaking with someone, they have been polite and generally helpful. At least in my case, they’ve done a good job.

    • You mean that you actually get that far…. being able to speak to a real, live, breathing person? I’m impressed..LOL

      I was able to check on the status of my claim for the holiday shut-down and they have a hold on it for some reason. I know from past experience that they will not release or mail my check until I talk to a real, live, breathing person… but I can’t get into customer service whatsoever. GAAAAAAAAAA!

  5. George Gombossy | August 25, 2009 at 7:51 pm |

    7:50 pm and the system is still down

  6. George Gombossy | August 26, 2009 at 7:45 am |

    Wendsday 7:40 am, site still not available

  7. I have been collecting in CT since January 2009 and have encountered this problem many times. And the site is often down on holidays as well. If it goes down on a weekend day, it takes at least a day to get it back up.
    I must admit, though, that once you do get through to file, the system works well. I file on Sundays and have my check on Tuesday.

  8. The question I have is, why in the world does the system keep “office hours” every day (except Sunday)?! FYI, the system’s hours are:

    “Continued Claims Hours of Operation:
    Monday – Friday 06:00 A.M. – 08:00 P.M.
    Sunday 12:00 A.M. – 11:00 P.M.”

    They do their maintenance “Sundays and Mondays between 12 p.m. and 12:15 p.m.,” so we know that’s not the reason for shutting it down every day. Is it some kind of bizarre work-life balance thing for computers?? Have computers been unionized??

  9. 11/22/2009
    unemployment claims website “busy” all day so far. It is now 9:38PM. I have been trying every hour on the hour since 1:00PM this afternoon. This is beyond rediculous. This state just keeps getting worse and worse……

    • I’ve been trying to file since 6 AM Sunday morning, trying at least 75 times or more both via telephone filing- the connection is deliberately cut off- and internet filing, which gives various odd messages: system too busy, unavailable, not authorized to file on the internet, etc. (I have been filing on the internet for a couple of months.)

      I suspect that DOL unemployment claims servers have crashed, likely because the state hasn’t upgraded despite the huge increases in unemployment and filers. What a terrible week for this to happen.

    • “Update on November 23, 2009: Due to the high volume of claim filing, you may experience some difficulty filing your claim via the Web or by telephone. We apologize for any inconvenience. ” CT DOL Website 11/23/09

      Inconvenience??? Only people in the public sector with secure jobs could call no check days before Thanksgiving an ‘inconvenience’. Not being able to buy groceries, put gas in the car, pay end of the month bills, etc. isn’t an inconvenience, it’s a disaster for many families.

      • George Gombossy | November 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm |

        I finally just got through to unemployment on the internet. Tried about 50 times Sunday, Monday and earlier today.
        The Dog

    • Another week… Still haven’t gotten a check from last week.(How am I supposed to buy gas to go to job interviews?) Been trying to file for this week since 7 AM this morning. All I get is a message saying the system is too busy (a.k.a. tough luck) or the server is too busy. Here’s a thought CT DOL: UPGRADE THE SERVER!

      • It’s now after 9 PM Sunday evening. Still can’t get into the online system.

        • “.

          The Department of Labor’s Web site is currently experiencing extremely high usage, restricting your ability to file a claim.

          For your convenience, you may want to file your weekly claim Tuesday through Friday. Due to the high volume experienced on Sundays and Mondays, please avoid filing on those two days if possible.”

          Convenience? Hello? My gas tank is on empty.

          • @Josh

            I’ve been having the exact same problem. Have you been able to resolve this?

          • I am now being told I am not authorized to file a claim on the internet or that the system is too busy. How am I not authorized to file on the internet when I have been doing so for months!!!!!?!?!? Please update the servers!!!

  10. I’ve been trying to file since sunday Morning. 100 calls to every number and 100 tries online with no success. I never seen anything like it till this year.
    Theres 5 days till christmas and I not sure if I get a check this week.

  11. cantgethrough | December 21, 2009 at 4:43 pm |

    My dh cannot get through either. He has filed and they told him that the check would be out in three days. Its been a month and a half and he still can’t inqurie about his claim on the internet or phone. All circuts are busy or the internet is busy. Will he ever get his check? How will we find out? I tried contacting the HQ in Weathersfield and they were less then helpful saying that he needed to keep trying. We need help. He’s worked for 15 years at the same job and had one week he couldn’t work and he’s treated like this! I feel bad for all that are in the same situation!

  12. I’ve been filing since January 2009 and no matter when I try to access the website on a Saturday midnight on, the website is “too busy.” I know this is not the case, as this is a programmatically generated message. If the website was too busy, you would not be able to access this page either. Maybe once or twice in almost a year, I’ve been able to file on a Sunday. Mostly it works on a Monday (late) or, worst case on Tuesday. Otherwise, I have to say, everything seems to work fine. I might suggest to those who really need to talk to someone that they just wait til mid-week. I’ve been through the gamut with them, even having a hearing, and have so far (until this holiday week) never missed a weekly payment due to a delay in filing. This week was ridiculous. The only real complaint I have about CT is why oh why don’t they have direct deposit?? That would save the state SOOOO much money.

    • Janice, I hope you are not looking for work in systems. Your statement “If the website was too busy, you would not be able to access this page either” is incorrect. Servers can be set to allow “n” number of users. Once n users are logged on, if additional requests come in, the server can deny access and display the busy message. Better to defer a small group rather than crash the whole system. That said, yes, I’ve seen state of CT systems and they are the worst pieces of junk imaginable. Remember too that the goal here is to get you back to work quickly, not to make everything easy for you.

      • Has anyone encountered the problem of not being able to get through for a whole week, now a new week is ready to be filed, after finally getting through the Internet it is stated I must call in? The week before Christmas I tried via Internet and telephone, with responses stating “system busy” or a busy signal via phone. I tried calling continuously to no avail. Now on the second week and still am not able to get through, calling repeatedly. Should I go to the local office, I wasn’t sure if that is permitted or not. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

  13. Okay – I have been trying for hours today to file my weekly claim.

    I received a message that said “not authorized to file over the telephone.” Strange – I’ve never had that problem before. Then I received a message when I FINALLY got through the log-in online that I’m not authorized to file on the internet. Huh?

    So, I did a claim inquiry, and it says I have several weeks worth of funds available for my current claim.

    So what gives? This is a nightmare.

    • Did you ever figure out what the problem was? I’m getting those messages today and don’t know what to do.

      • I am not getting these messages as well. Maybe something is wrong on DOL’s side of the server?

        • I am also getting “You have not been authorized to file a continued claim via the internet” this week even though I still have balance on my claim.

          • I’m getting that smae message today? Did anyone find out what this is about?

          • How did you resolve this “You have not been authorized to file a continued claim via the internet” problem? I started having that problem today.

          • Not authorized on the website or the telebenefits line also??!! It looks like alot of people hae had this problem but noone came back and answered why this is happening!

  14. Denise Meyer | December 27, 2009 at 7:59 pm |

    This has been my experience as well. The system is even busy at 5 and 6 AM. Last week it took about 100 tries. I’ve tried about 25 times today. I sure would like to put that time into meaningful efforts in finding work.

  15. I prefer to file on Sundays so that I can get my check quicker and then allow for the bank to hold it a day. I have experienced the same problem with the DOL website but find that filing by phone works best. I may get busy signals and the “all circuits are currently busy” message, but I hang up and hit the redial buttion and within 5 minutes, I get through.

  16. My son became unemployed in October. Since that time I have watched him try to call or connect via the Internet weekly. I must say, it’s a good thing he has free time because it’s a full-time job to get through to unemployment. Makes me wonder if the state isn’t thinking that there’s no rush to fix it because what else would unemployed people have to do but sit all day and try to file?

    Let’s face it, if you don’t have a job in Connecticut, you’re a second-class citizen. I am unemployed due to a disability and face the same treatment through social services.

    Forget the governor, maybe Blumenthal could help ?

    • Can he walk to an unemployment office and file in person? I mean, he isn’t going to be late by doing so. Gawd, all you people want everything on a silver platter.

      • No Sean you can’t just walk there. You can’t call another number either. You can’t file in person anymore, you must use either the Internet OR the correct benefits phone number for the town you are in. Nothing else is accepted. I have tried. I worked for two days two weeks ago and reported it. It screwed up everything and I have not gotten a check in two weeks. If I call the regular number they tell me they can’t help me. If I call the telebenefits line they tell me the wait is too long and then hangs up on me. It’s a total screw-up.

  17. I have been calling every day for over a month and all I get is a busy signal or “sorry, all circuits are busy” (followed by a hangup). If i’m lucky enough to get past those and get to the menu I get hung up on after a message telling me that the wait would be too long and to try again later…then it hangs up on me. there is NO “on-hold” whatsoever. I’d welcome hold! I’d rather sit on hold for 2 hours than rack up my cell phone minutes (i have no home phone) with 70+ calls per day.
    I just simply cannot believe that THIS is the ONLY way to get service or correspondence with the Department of Labor in CT.
    I’ve now gone over a month with NO income and if I go another month, I’ll be living on the street with no home because they can’t pick up the phone. Why is their automated system not operational 24-7?

  18. My check is being held this week because I work part time for a school and there was no school last week. I reported 0 hours for that week, as opposed to 17 hours on a usual week. This placed a hold on my check and they will not release it until I can explain it to them. I have tried for 5 days to resolve this and still have no check.

  19. It’s difficult being one of the desperate ones who’s ability to put a roof over your kid’s heads depends on being able to get through only have to 5 straight (now 6 straight now that they “open” on Saturdays) days of busy signals and “all circuits are busy now” and “due to high call volume, please try your call later – goodbye” a week. A week! For weeks straight. Only because we wanted to play by the rules to claim some part time income.

    In fact, it’s better for us to not play fair and not claim income. But that’s not right.

    Perhaps the state could alleviate some of the unemployment problem by hiring a few of us to take these calls.

  20. Been trying for over two weeks for my unemployment. I am a contruction worker that gets laid off due to the season. How am I supposed to feed my family and pay my bills when they dont let you get through?

    This is a sham, and quite honestly they are doing this on purpose.

    • The most frustrating part is. All my info is submitted by phone. All they need to do is have someone get on the phone with me and say “ok” and click the button in the computer. This is pathetic.

  21. I cant understand why it takes days for the money to show up in my account. I thought DD was instant. it’s been two weeks and they are behind in paying my benifits. thier website show they paid out my benifits where is it? DD numbers are correct.

  22. Seem like every week there is an issue with my pay out of benifits. It is sad when the paper checks they use to send are faster then direct deposit . the below statement has me ???????????????????

    Verify the information below.

    Message Code:108

    Message:Your claim filed by phone/web is being held pending resolution of a potential issue

    • I got my first 3 weeks of unemployment no problem, then today I got the same message code you got (108 Your claim filed by phone/web is being held pending resolution of a potential issue). I know it’s been a fe3w years since this has happened to you, but did you get your money? Did you have to wait? Was it their “issue” or yours?

      • Hi Matt – I noticed you posted fairly recently 1/2016. Just wondering if your Message 108 was resolved? I’m having that issue. 2 weeks so far and just noticed it. I need to pay my mortgage and kinda panicking. I finally was able to get in touch with an automated service over the phone but I’m not getting a call back until tomorrow (if they call).
        Just wondering if the issue was resolved. I was paid for 5 weeks and then, suddenly, a hold. It makes no sense. Nothing has changed.

      • Jennifer Logan | June 20, 2016 at 9:42 pm |

        What was your outcome? I filed my continued claim, Sunday, and today, when i checked, after they closed, i had the same error code. I was working as a sub fkr tge scholl system, but ladt werk had 0 hours. I habe a child to feed and rent. I hope you have good news!

        • Hey did any of you get this resolved? my husband finally got his first pay out. It was for a total of 3 weeks, and yesterday (sunday) he did his claim for last week and today when i check the online CT website it has error code 108 ? Im concerned, its already taken us forever to get the ball rolling and now this? Please respond if you know anything at all.

  23. so i have been having issues to when i went to file one sunday i had gotten 40 hours of work that week or almost 40 maybe 2 hours short of it i filled that i returned back to full time work and it said to call in the message code so i called them the next day and they said we will fix it in the computer. then 2 weeks later again i had full time work so i filled and it wanted me to call them and i forgot. then i figured if everytime i put i am returning to full time work and the system cannot recognize that in there system i would just click no i have not returned to full time work and hit how many hours i worked which was between 36-40 i guess since mid october i have had this pending resolution message that i just saw today as i got a huge cut in hours.i called and they are going to call me back by 830am today so hopefully i can resolve it oh and one sunday i forgot to claim and remembered the next day so i went a head and claimed on monday i am not sure if that also affected my pending info

  24. i was suppose to go to unemployment for some job-fair , but instead i TRYED TO CALL THEM and TELL THEM THAT i was going to jaci carollfor a job in a factory , NOW my check is WITH-HELD cause I DIDNT GO TO UNEMPLOYMENT , I WOULD RATHER WORK THAN COLLECT ,

  25. Connecticut is all messed up!!!! Its really disgusting on their part that they would keep peoples checks or delay or keep the phone lines hanging up on you and it is almost impossible to get thru after hours on hold. God help you if you have your only phone as a cellphone!!!!I have been on hold every week for hours and still cant get thru!!! My poor animals have to eat as I do and there is no money for gasoline or shampoo or bills. Pretty soon I will not be able to pay my mortgage. I dont understand why this is happening. I wish someone from Unemployment would read this and do something to help make contact possible on the phone.

  26. what does the code 108 mean, and what are they looking for?

  27. angelia mcfarlane | January 13, 2015 at 3:57 pm |

    Missed filing two weeks ago due to phone not workingtried to call in daily since also filed online .no one called me bavk and still not able to get through.cant file this eerk as systemdoes not allow.what amm i to do.its frustrating.

  28. On furlough for one week between Christmas and New Year’s. I have been trying for 8 days now; yesterday, finally got the message to agree to letting me leave a callback number, but the guy wanted information that their menu for furloughs didn’t ask for and no one else at the office had that problem, so he said I had to call back. Well, I have been sitting in my office on hold since 7:30 a.m. and it is 10a.m. I don’t dare hang up, and tried also with my cell to put that on a call-back, but they are not accepting calls for the rest of the day. THEY CAN NEVER EVER CATCH UP being so unresponsive, and I know they want me to hang up so that they don’t have to report that they had someone unemployed. I hate to lose this job because I have wasted time trying to get through to CT unemployment.

  29. Can someone please tell me why my claims are being held with code 108?
    What are these issues? I cant get a hold of anyone to find out cuz i cant ever get thru via phone because either there not accepting calls or i get hung up on…

    • Did you find out why???
      Im getting code 108

      • Same here. Any luck?

        • Jennifer Logan | June 20, 2016 at 9:43 pm |

          Me too!

        • Thank you so much for the number. I got thru directly and 108 resolved in minutes. I’ve been calling in for 3 weeks with all the same frustrations as everyone else. I’m so grateful. Again if you have 108 code call 860-263-6635

          • I am so confused.. I tried calling that number and it just keeps ringing and ringing.. no one picks up and no machine… this is so frustrating.

          • Julie Barton | March 1, 2017 at 10:05 am |

            I have a 108 code and two weeks of claims unpaid. I just called the number above (which if you google it will show you that it’s one of the many numbers in the unemployment office directory and not to be used for individual claim issues.) I did actually speak with someone which was exciting even though she couldn’t help me. She looked up my claim and said that the 108 was because I “answered a question wrong” but she wouldn’t give me more detail than that. She said I had to call the Telebenefits line and when I told her that you can’t reach them, she said that was the only option and they know it’s difficult for everyone. I asked if they were going to improve it and she said – no, they were going through layoffs. She sounded pretty rushed and miserable. I almost felt bad for her and then I remembered that I can’t get anyone to help me with my freaking claim.

            In case this is helpful — the weeks that were paid no problem were when I was working part-time. I had two weeks when I didn’t have work, so I answered every question as No. Perhaps I should have said that I was still working part-time but had no hours instead of saying I wasn’t working. Who knows.

  30. I’ve been trying to call here in CT for my initial claim for a week spending 2-3 hours each day being disconnected each time due to a high call voloume!This is ridiculous!

  31. Can anyone tell me what message code 41 means. In CT

    • Im wondering the same thing. Had an unemployment hearing and noticed today the message code changed from 42 to 41.

  32. Jennifer Logan | June 21, 2016 at 10:35 am |

    After beingg on hold with unemployment from 7:30 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. I found out that section code 108 or message error 108 means I voluntarily left employment.

    This is untrue. I was working as a per diem paraeducator within my local school system. The main school year has ended I am still on call for summer para call outs however I got 0 hours last week. That was supposed to be 17 to 20 hours previous weeks.

    Now they have to send the public school system a letter to verify that there is lack of work and that is why I do not have any hours last week and will not have ours going forward until the school year picks up.

    Unfortunately they don’t tell you this when you file your claim. Had I not looked up to find out what the status was I would not have known and been questioning why nothing was in my debit account this morning.

    Now they tell me it could be 9 business days before my claim is processed through and that’s only if they approve it upon receiving the notice back from the school system.

    I’m stressed out because that is food on my table gas in my tank and a roof over mine and my son’s head. The state of Connecticut doesn’t care though.

    I applied for assistance and was told that I make too much money for unemployment to get anything but $35 a week to feed my son and myself.

    I am currently seeking employment and surrounding school systems as a paraprofessional but that makes no difference.

  33. Jennifer Logan | July 3, 2016 at 8:07 am |

    Follow up code 108

    The Friday after calling in about the code, i received a call. The woman who took my call, on the hotline, sent the work papers to the wrong educational department. If course, they have no me in their records. I had to direct the woman, to once again prove i had been working.

    I gave her three names, and department numbers, right off my payroll voucher. I explained again, i was a para sub, and its summer break. I offered phone numbers, which were not accepted.

    That was 2 Fridays ago. I am still being held, and still without my pay.

    Now, yesterday, i got a job offer for the summer school session. I took it, of course, as it will help towards my hunt for the 2016/2017 school contract job.

    The problem is, it is only 4 weeks, so im going to be back in this same boat.

    Now, my landlord is selling, and i was suppised to be out, July 1. With no income, i have no way to move my son and i. They gave me a one month extension, thank God.

    Bottom line? The state is clueless, and if you are illegal, lie and cheat, they move fast, and you can live comfortably. Otherwise? Good luck out there!

  34. Michael DeLuco | January 19, 2017 at 9:31 am |

    jan 2017 and Ct DEPARTMENT OF LABOR has only gotten worse over the years. I have been off for 4 weeks. It took me over a week of being hung up on countless times to speak to a person and then she gave me attitude and so far i have only been paid for 1 week so now i have to get on the phone again and try to find out why i wasnt paid for the previous weeks! Total incompetence. And the online system is a total joke.

  35. I had a telephone hearing over a month ago. I have built up ten weeks of no payment. I have been to the unemployment center, since I cannot get through on the phone. They keep telling me I’ll receive a response in the mail. It never comes. I cannot suricate much longer!! Any idea how to solve this problem. Of live to fill a complaint, but it seems I cannot do that either! What are my rights???

  36. I have been waiting six weeks now for an answer to my claim. I waited three weeks for a phone interview and its now 3 weeks later. I get hung up on when I call due to high call volume. I tried putting days and times in for callbacks and the recording told me I be reached my maximum times for trying for a callback and was hung up on again. I cannot believe how bad this is.

  37. I was just on hold 5 hours for them to say there not taking any more calls and hang up on me this shit is ridiculous there’s definitely a bunch of people getting paid for nothing if No ones getting through how can u be to busy with other people I called at 8a.m and was on hold till 1 then they hung up on me.

  38. wow – what a horrible experience this is….cannot file online because system says I have to call in…..when I call in I get a series of voice prompts that tell me to go online to file. No shit! No one ever answers live so I am in an endless loop of going online only to get told to call only to get no one and told to go online. Not acceptable CONNECTICUT. Instead of having us waste time doing this we can be looking for work.

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