For Immediate Release
Date: February 7, 2021
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations - firstname.lastname@example.org
Phase 2 Benefits Of Continued Assistance Act Will Rollout the Week of February 22
New Group of Claimants Will Be Able to Reopen Claims Before the End of the Month
(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) the week of February 22. Phase 2 will allow most 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. Phase 2 will also include the ability to file new PUA and PEUC claims. Phase 1 of the program began rolling out last week to claimants who still had existing balances on their PUA and PEUC claims on December 26, 2020. Since February 1, more than 104,000 people have received over $166 million in benefits as part of Phase 1.
“We know that many Coloradans are facing extreme economic hardships right now, and have been anxiously waiting for the ability to apply for these added benefits,” said Joe Barela, Executive Director, CDLE. “The phased-in rollout of the program has been frustrating for many, however, our priority has been to get benefits in the hands of the most eligible claimants we could feasibly reach at one time. We may have some kinks to workout, but our new, modernized cloud-based system will allow for much speedier implementation of future pandemic assistance legislation that we expect to come from the new administration. While we continue to do everything we can to get struggling Coloradans the financial assistance they need, our long term goal has and always will be to help unemployed workers find meaningful jobs.”
The Continued Assistance Act, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020, provides an 11-week extension to the federal PUA and PEUC programs. Additionally, the act reestablished the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which will provide 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 will notify claimants in the coming weeks about next steps to reopen their claims. Beginning Monday, February 8th, CDLE will also launch a three-week campaign to help connect unemployed workers with job opportunities, including more than 80,000 jobs in ConnectingColorado.com, the State’s largest job search database.
Additional phases will address remaining programs, including the new Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, as well as a small subset of claimants with complex and/or out-of-sequence claim situations.