State news

Connecticut still seeing "unprecedented" unemployment claims

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby said Friday his agency is still seeing an “unprecedented number” of unemployment claims because of the coronavirus pandemic, but has managed to reduce processing times to one-to-two weeks from a high of six weeks.

The department is in the process of establishing a new consumer contact center, which Westby said will launch in mid-July. DOL currently has about 100 customer service representatives and about 40 staff answering phone calls. The new consumer contact center will add 60 new customer service representatives that will help applicants by phone and email. The center will also have text, chat, call back, and virtual assistant features.

“We are still seeing an unprecedented number of claims applications,” he said in a written statement. “The consumer contact center will help us more quickly get benefits out to people while still protecting the system from fraud and criminal activity.”

Of the 635,772 applications received, the department has processed 617,296 of them.


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