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

August 24, 2009

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

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

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

    • Eat A Peach on 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).

      • amanda on January 8, 2016 at 9:28 am

        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…

        • jimmy on January 22, 2016 at 2:46 pm

          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

  2. Stephen on August 25, 2009 at 11:01 am

    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.

    • mike on January 19, 2016 at 9:22 am

      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 on August 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm

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

  4. Linda Lissack on 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.

    • Kym on January 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm

      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 on August 25, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    7:50 pm and the system is still down

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

    Wendsday 7:40 am, site still not available

  7. Linda on August 26, 2009 at 10:23 am

    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. Rob on September 2, 2009 at 2:05 am

    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. Dan D'Apice on November 22, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    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……

    • Josh on November 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm

      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.

    • Josh on November 23, 2009 at 4:39 pm

      “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 on 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

    • Josh on November 29, 2009 at 6:12 pm

      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!

      • Josh on November 29, 2009 at 10:17 pm

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

        • Josh on November 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm


          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.

          • Dennis on December 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm


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

          • RL on December 6, 2009 at 3:21 am

            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. Mike on December 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    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 on 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. Janice on December 27, 2009 at 11:21 am

    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.

    • Sean on December 28, 2009 at 12:04 pm

      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.

      • Michelle on December 29, 2009 at 4:47 pm

        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. ChristineE on December 27, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    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.

    • Sarah on January 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm

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

      • Mike on January 17, 2010 at 4:31 pm

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

        • Steve on February 9, 2010 at 6:19 am

          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.

          • Frank on February 14, 2010 at 11:14 am

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

          • Rich on February 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm

            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.

          • Sally on June 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm

            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 on 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. Laura on December 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    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. Mary Mack on December 28, 2009 at 1:40 am

    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 ?

    • Sean on December 28, 2009 at 12:07 pm

      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.

      • Wnbresn on January 1, 2010 at 12:00 am

        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. mike on January 4, 2010 at 11:26 am

    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. Jill on January 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    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. Jeff on January 12, 2010 at 10:23 am

    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.

    • C Stephens on January 7, 2016 at 9:59 am

      I like the way you think. Lol

  20. EN on January 13, 2010 at 8:41 am

    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.

    • EN on January 13, 2010 at 9:03 am

      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. Mike on November 13, 2011 at 2:44 am

    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. Mike on November 14, 2011 at 7:46 am

    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

    • Matt on January 11, 2016 at 11:07 am

      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?

      • Jen on March 31, 2016 at 11:21 am

        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.

  23. alyssa on November 19, 2012 at 7:59 am

    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. JERRY on November 20, 2012 at 10:35 am

    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. Michele on January 20, 2013 at 1:30 am

    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. john on July 28, 2014 at 12:39 pm

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

  27. angelia mcfarlane on 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. C Stephens on January 7, 2016 at 9:57 am

    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. Julie on January 12, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    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…

    • Wayne on January 18, 2016 at 11:59 am

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

      • Jen on March 31, 2016 at 11:22 am

        Same here. Any luck?

  30. Tanya Roof on January 13, 2016 at 10:11 am

    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. ayisha on February 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm

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

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