2016 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 31 - Labor
Chapter 567 - Unemployment Compensation
Section 31-235 - Benefit eligibility conditions; qualifications; involuntary retirees. Reemployment services. Profiling system.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 31-235 (2016)

(a) An unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits with respect to any week only if it has been found that (1) such individual has made claim for benefits in accordance with the provisions of section 31-240 and has registered for work at the public employment bureau or other agency designated by the administrator within such time limits, with such frequency and in such manner as the administrator may prescribe, provided failure to comply with this condition may be excused by the administrator upon a showing of good cause therefor; (2) except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, such individual is physically and mentally able to work and is available for work and has been and is making reasonable efforts to obtain work, provided the individual shall not be considered to be unavailable for work solely because the individual is attending a school, college or university as a regularly enrolled student during the separation from employment, within the limitations of subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 31-236, and provided further, the individual shall not be considered to be lacking in efforts to obtain work if, as a student, such efforts are restricted to employment which does not conflict with the individual's regular class hours as a student, and provided the administrator shall not use prior “patterns of unemployment” of the individual to determine whether the individual is available for work; (3) such individual has been paid wages by an employer who was subject to the provisions of this chapter during the base period of the current benefit year in an amount at least equal to forty times the individual's benefit rate for total unemployment, provided an unemployed individual who is sixty-two years of age or older and is involuntarily retired under a compulsory retirement policy or contract provision shall be eligible for benefits with respect to any week, notwithstanding subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, if it is found by the administrator that the individual has made claim for benefits in accordance with the provisions of section 31-240, has registered for work at the public employment bureau, is physically and mentally able to work, is available for work, meets the requirements of this subdivision and has not refused suitable work to which the individual has been referred by the administrator; (4) such individual participates in reemployment services, such as job search assistance services, if the individual has been determined to be likely to exhaust regular benefits and need reemployment services pursuant to a profiling system established by the administrator unless the administrator determines that (A) the individual has completed such services, or (B) there is justifiable cause for the individual's failure to participate in such services. The administrator shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, for the administration of the profiling system. For purposes of subdivision (2) of this subsection, “patterns of unemployment” means regularly recurring periods of unemployment of the claimant in the years prior to filing the claim in question.

(b) The provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section relating to the eligibility of students for benefits shall not be applicable to any claimant who attended a school, college or university as a regularly enrolled full-time student at any time during the two years prior to such claimant's date of separation from employment, unless such claimant was employed on a full-time basis, as determined by the administrator, for the two years prior to such date.

(c) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section, an unemployed individual may limit such individual's availability for work to part-time employment, provided the individual (A) provides documentation from a licensed physician or an advanced practice registered nurse that (i) the individual has a physical or mental impairment that is chronic or is expected to be long-term or permanent in nature, and (ii) the individual is unable to work full-time because of such impairment, and (B) establishes, to the satisfaction of the administrator, that such limitation does not effectively remove such individual from the labor force.

(2) In determining whether the individual has satisfied the requirements of subparagraph (B) of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the administrator shall consider the individual's work history, efforts to find work, the hours such individual is medically permitted to work and the individual's availability during such hours for work that is suitable in light of the individual's impairment.

(1949 Rev., S. 7507; 1953, S. 3072d; February, 1965, P.A. 550, S. 4; 1967, P.A. 790, S. 13, 23; 1971, P.A. 835, S. 14; P.A. 73-106; 73-160; 73-671; P.A. 83-184, S. 1, 2; 83-470, S. 1, 3; P.A. 94-116, S. 15, 28; P.A. 05-288, S. 137; P.A. 06-171, S. 1; P.A. 12-197, S. 36.)

History: 1965 act changed wage amount referred to in Subdiv. (3) from $300 to $750; 1967 act changed amount referred to in Subdiv. (3) to thirty times his benefit rate for total unemployment; 1971 act deleted provision in Subdiv. (2) which had prohibited requiring women to be available for work between one and six a.m.; P.A. 73-106 changed wage amount in Subdiv. (3) from thirty to forty times the benefit rate “or one and one-half times the amount of his total wages paid during that quarter of his current benefit year's base period in which such wages were highest”, deleting proviso requiring that wages or earnings occur in two different calendar quarters; P.A. 73-160 added proviso re persons 62 or older who are involuntarily retired; P.A. 73-671 deleted optional wage amount of one and one-half total wages paid during quarter in which wages were highest in Subdiv. (3); P.A. 83-184 prohibited the administrator from using prior “patterns of unemployment” in determining the individual's availability for work and defined the term; P.A. 83-470 provided that a claimant shall not be considered to be unavailable for work solely because he is a student during his period of unemployment, and he shall not be considered to be lacking in his efforts to get work if he restricts his efforts to employment which does not conflict with his school hours, within the limitations established in new Subsec. (b); (Revisor's note: In 1991 the reference in Subsec. (a) to “subsection (6)” was changed editorially by the Revisors to read “subsection (a)(6)”); P.A. 94-116 added (a)(4) requiring a claimant to participate in reemployment services if the individual has determined to be more likely than not to exhaust regular benefits and need reemployment services, effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective July 13, 2005; P.A. 06-171 made technical changes for the purpose of gender neutrality and added Subsec. (c) providing that unemployed individual with physical or mental impairment who satisfies specified requirements may limit availability for work to part-time employment and establishing considerations for determining whether requirements have been satisfied; P.A. 12-197 amended Subsec. (c)(1)(A) by adding provision allowing documentation from an advanced practice registered nurse.

“Available for work” construed with respect to waitress. 126 C. 441. Depends on whether or not there is a labor market for the work employee can do. 132 C. 651. Deliberate violation of reasonable rule in connection with work constitutes “wilful misconduct”. 133 C. 308. Rule forbidding solicitation for union membership in working hours reasonable. Id., 310. The word “paid” does not mean “payable”, and since all wages paid plaintiff were paid to him in one calendar quarter, he was not eligible to receive unemployment benefits. 135 C. 667. Cited. 136 C. 389. Section is constitutional; does not impair vested rights. 137 C. 129. A claimant who limits his availability for work because of personal reasons not related to the employment is not entitled to compensation. Id., 438. Plaintiff eligible for benefits for period of shutdown beyond the 1-week vacation to which he was entitled. 138 C. 253. Under former statute, disqualification for attending school did not apply after applicant had completed his studies. 139 C. 71. Power of court over commissioner's administrative decisions is very limited. Id., 588. Cited. 171 C. 318. Delay of 1,000 days in appellate determination of denial of unemployment benefits constitutes good cause for suspending reporting requirement. 175 C. 269. Cited. Id., 562; 184 C. 317; 205 C. 623; 209 C. 381.

Cited. 3 CA 264; 4 CA 183. “Quit to care” provision does not apply as an exception to the availability provision of section. 34 CA 620.

Qualifications to make claimant eligible for compensation are conditions precedent and burden of proof is on him. 15 CS 286. Cited. 20 CS 10; Id., 214; 44 CS 285.

Subsec. (a)(2):

To be available for work one must be ready, able and willing to accept suitable employment; must be exposed unequivocally to the labor market; eligibility for unemployment compensation discussed. 142 C. 160. Plaintiff attending school during the day held not available for work as he limited his availability for “first shift” work for a personal reason unrelated to his employment. 148 C. 475. Mere fact that person places certain restrictions on type of work he is willing to accept does not, in itself, make him unavailable for work within intent and meaning of section; work at a lesser skill and lower wages should not be deemed suitable unless claimant has been given a reasonable period in which to compete in the labor market for available jobs at his higher skill or related skills. 150 C. 278. Uncontroverted testimony concerning efforts to find work and willingness to rearrange a college schedule do not establish rights to benefits where referee not convinced that plaintiff would or could rearrange class schedule and that she was looking for work. 174 C. 527. Cited. 177 C. 132.

Claimant's primary devotion to self-employment activities in business open 7 days a week with one other person who lacked relevant business expertise renders claimant unavailable for work and disqualifies him from receiving benefits. 139 CA 26.

“Available for work”; affected by pregnancy. 7 CS 375; 13 CS 32. Conclusion that claimant with two badly broken legs could not perform any work was justified. 10 CS 186. As affects persons who can accept employment only at certain hours or on certain shifts because of domestic responsibilities. 12 CS 122; 13 CS 101; Id., 109; 16 CS 334; 17 CS 316. Wife who voluntarily left employment to reside in a distant area where husband was stationed wherein suitable opportunities were restricted was not “available”. 13 CS 423. In absence of finding that claimant refused to accept work, conclusion that she was not “available” was unwarranted. 15 CS 50. “Available for work” means available for employer's work and not necessarily for some other work. 17 CS 142. Availability is to be decided upon what claimant does and not upon the existence of regulation foreign to act which bars employers from hiring. Id., 318. State employee who voluntarily retires and is not willing to work for state because of loss of pension is not available for work and not entitled to benefits. 22 CS 99. One who limits his availability for work because of personal reasons unrelated to employment is not entitled to compensation. 23 CS 86. Claimant has burden not only to accept referral but also to make opportunity fruitful; where such person did not report for interview because he forgot, he was held ineligible for benefits. Id., 188. Cited. Id., 208. Search for work amounting to a few hours a day or one day a week held not to meet “reasonable effort” requirement of Subdiv. 24 CS 492. Applying to one or two places a week held as not making reasonable effort to obtain work. Id., 507. Where cessation of work was voluntary on plaintiff's part, through agency of union, plaintiffs could not be said to be “available for work”. 25 CS 294–296. Unemployment commissioner's conclusion that plaintiff was not physically able to engage in work so as to be “available for work” was sufficiently supported by subordinate facts when plaintiff had qualified for Social Security disability benefits. Id., 447. “Reasonable efforts” defined; not unreasonable or arbitrary for commissioner to find that plaintiff's one or two attempts to find work each week did not constitute reasonable effort; courts are bound by findings of subordinate facts and reasonable conclusions of facts made by commissioner. 26 CS 336. Where plaintiff did not go to more than 3 establishments in person in any week in her search for work, she failed to meet statutory requirement that she make reasonable efforts to obtain work. 27 CS 38. Burden of proving work availability of claimant. 29 CS 316. When telephone operator ineligible for benefits. Id., 492. Bona fide attempt to obtain temporary full-time job satisfies availability for work requirement. 31 CS 4. Seasonal worker who makes a bona fide attempt to obtain a temporary full-time job satisfies the requirements of availability set forth in section. Id., 238. Cited. 32 CS 3.

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