For Immediate Release
Date: February 18, 2021
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations - firstname.lastname@example.org
Phase 2 Benefits Of Continued Assistance Act Will Rollout Saturday, February 20, 2021
State labor department announces next phase ahead of schedule, outlines actions needed by claimants
(DENVER) -- Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced it will begin rolling out Phase 2 of the extended pandemic benefits provided by the Continued Assistance Act (CAA) on Saturday, February 20, 2021. Phase 2 will allow claimants who exhausted the balance of their federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) claims on or before December 26, 2020 to receive an additional 11 weeks of benefits as of December 27, 2020. Phase 2 will also include the ability to file new PUA and PEUC claims. Phase 1 of the program began rolling out at the end of January to claimants who still had existing balances on their PUA and PEUC claims as of December 26, 2020.
“We understand that this gap in benefits has been challenging, and we are grateful to have our systems programmed two days ahead of schedule,” said Joe Barela, Executive Director, CDLE. “We’ve had our teams working nonstop to get these continued benefits in the hands of eligible Coloradans who are relying on our help during this stressful time.”
The Continued Assistance Act, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, provides 11 additional weeks of federal PUA and PEUC benefits. Additionally, the act reestablished the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which provides unemployment recipients with an additional $300 weekly benefit, and established the new Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, which will provide an additional $100 weekly benefit to those receiving regular state unemployment benefits who have also suffered a loss of self-employment income.
The Department began notifying claimants this week about next steps ahead of Saturday’s Phase 2 rollout. Claimants will not be able to access MyUI+ from 5:30 p.m. on Friday through 3 a.m. on Saturday ahead of the rollout. Starting on Saturday, claimants should log into their MyUI+ accounts and apply for standard UI benefits if they have the option to do so. They’ll be able to certify their weeks the following day, if not sooner. Federal rules require the Department to confirm that claimants are either not eligible for, or have exhausted, regular state unemployment benefits before paying benefits under the federal pandemic programs. All new PUA claimants will also be required to go through ID.me verification. This is another federal requirement adding an extra step for claimants, however, other states have demonstrated that it greatly reduces fraudulent activity. Claimants will have 21 days to do this and payment will not be released until it is completed. The Department will continue contacting claimants today and tomorrow to provide situation-specific guidance about the Phase 2 rollout.