For Immediate Release
Date: January 28, 2021
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations - firstname.lastname@example.org
State Labor Department Begins Rollout of Continued Assistance Act Benefits
FIRST PHASE CLAIMANTS WILL BE ABLE TO REOPEN CLAIMS ON MONDAY
(DENVER) -- Today, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced that it has begun rolling out the extended pandemic benefits provided by the Continued Assistance Act, which was signed into law on December 27, 2020.
The legislation provided 11-week extensions of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and specified changes to the 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.
In order to fully implement the extensions, changes, and new programs, the Department is reprogramming its systems and will roll out the programs in phases. On Thursday, January 28, the Department began contacting more than 230,000 claimants with instructions on how to reopen their PUA or PEUC claims beginning on Monday, February 1, 2021.
Phase 1 Rollout
Phase 1 includes most non-exhausted PUA and PEUC claims, including:
Active or expired PUA claims with a monetary balance
Active or expired PEUC claims with a monetary balance
FPUC benefits for regular state unemployment claimants
To determine whether or not their claim has a remaining balance, claimants can log into their MyUI+ account.
Beginning on Monday, February 1, 2021, claimants in Phase 1 will be able to reopen their PUA or PEUC claims. Once reopened, claims will be automatically backdated for all available weeks under the program extensions. Phase 1 claimants will also be eligible to receive FPUC benefits, which provide a supplemental $300 weekly benefit for 11 weeks beginning December 27, 2020 and ending March 13, 2021. FPUC benefits will be paid retroactively for past weeks.
Most claimants will need to apply for standard UI benefits in order to have the option to reopen their PUA or PEUC claim. Federal guidelines require this step to confirm that PUA and PEUC recipients are either not eligible for or have exhausted any regular state unemployment benefits before receiving benefits under the federal programs.
Phase 2 Rollout
Phase 2 will include most PUA and PEUC claimants who exhausted the balance of their claims on or before December 26, 2020. Phase 2 will also include the ability to file new PUA and PEUC claims.
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.
Dates for the rollout beyond Phase 1 have not yet been finalized.