Continued Assistance Act

 
As a result of economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has established several additional benefit programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), and Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).
 

    An additional 11 weeks of PUA and PEUC benefits provided by the Continued Assistance Act are available. Reopen or file new claims now in MyUI+.

    • PUA and PEUC claimants who exhausted the balance on their claim before 12/26/20
    • PUA and PEUC claimants who have exhausted their balance since Phase 1 opened on 2/1/21
    • Claimants who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits will be able to apply for PEUC
    • Claimants who were on State Extended Benefits (SEB) when it was triggered off, whether or not they filed for PUA prior to 12/26
    • The additional $300 FPUC will be automatically added to each week of benefits you are paid through March 13, 2021.
    Continued Assistance Act Programs Graphic

    FAQs

    What is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)?

    The federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program was established by the CARES Act in 2020 to provide 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to self-employed individuals, gig workers, and other independent contractors.

    The Continuing Assistance Act provided for up to additional 11 weeks of PUA eligibility, for a total of 50 weeks. These additional 11 weeks can only be paid out for benefit weeks after 12/27/20.

    What is Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)?

    The federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program was established by the CARES Act in 2020 to provide an additional 13 weeks of regular state unemployment benefits for those who exhaust the standard 26 weeks.

    The Continuing Assistance Act provided for up to additional 11 weeks of PEUC eligibility, for a total of 24 weeks. These additional 11 weeks can only be paid out for benefit weeks after 12/27/20.

    What is Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)?

    The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program was established by the CARES Act in 2020 and provided an additional $600 weekly benefit to unemployment claimants for the weeks beginning March 29, 2020 and ending July 31, 2020.

    The Continuing Assistance Act reestablished the FPUC program, and provides for an additional $300 weekly benefit to unemployment claimants for 11 weeks beginning December 26, 2020 and ending March 13, 2021.

    What is Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)?

    The Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program was established by the Continuing Assistance Act and provides for an additional $100 weekly benefit to regular state unemployment claimants who have also suffered a loss of self-employment income. To receive MEUC benefits, claimants must submit documentation of at least $5000 in self-employment earnings for the prior tax year.

    Why was I able to request payment but my weeks are denied?

    Weeks can be denied for a variety of reasons. Please remember that to receive payment of PUA benefits, a claimant must be unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic. It is important for each claimant to carefully read the questions being asked.

    If I successfully completed the ID.me process, why do I still have a program integrity hold?

    There are instances where an individual could successfully complete the ID.me process but still have an egregious fraud hold on their claim. This means that despite the identity verification, there is activity on the claim that tells us it could still be fraudulent and requires further investigation. If further investigation is required, we will reach out to you with next steps. 

    Why can’t I get through to the call center?

    Our call center can be reached at 303-536-5615, Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, Phase 1 of the rollout affects more than 230,000 claimants, and the volume of calls into the call center is high, as anticipated. Some callers may experience longer-than-average hold times or even a busy signal. We are continuing to increase call center staffing. If you are unable to get through to our call center, please try again later. You can also find many answers at ColoradoUI.gov.

    How should I answer the “I AM NO LONGER UNEMPLOYED as a result of COVID-19” question?

    In order to receive pandemic-related benefits, federal rules require claimants to affirm that they are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When completing your weekly certification, on the "Eligibility" screen, you are asked to check one or more COVID-related situations affecting you. The final checkbox reads "I AM NO LONGER UNEMPLOYED as a result of COVID-19 public health emergency." As noted in the instructions, you should only check the final box if none of the other options apply to you, and you are no longer unemployed.

    Checking the final box will result in an automatic denial of benefits, as we cannot pay pandemic-related benefits unless you remain unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    If you accidentally check this box before submitting, you will receive a notice of decision in your correspondence which you can appeal.

    What is wrong with my claim?

    Why are my benefits exhausted?

    Phase 1 only includes any balance that remained on your PUA or PEUC claim as of 12/26/20. It does not include the 11 additional weeks provided by the Continued Assistance Act. If you have been paid all of the PUA or PEUC benefits that were available to you as of 12/26/20, your claim will show as exhausted until Phase 2 is implemented. 
     
    The 11 additional weeks of PUA and PEUC benefits that were added as a result of the Continued Assistance Act will be added in Phase 2.

    Why was I able to request payment but my weeks are denied?

    Weeks can be denied for a variety of reasons. Things to watch for when you are requesting payment:

    • Per federal rules, to receive PUA benefits, you must be unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic.
      • If you are not unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic, your weeks for PUA will be denied.
         
    • Carefully read the questions being asked to be sure you are answering correctly.
      • If you answer a question incorrectly, your weeks could be denied.
      • Questions may sometimes change as a result of updated federal guidance. Read the question all the way to the end before answering. 
         
    • You must be physically and mentally able to work. 
      • If you are not, your weeks may be denied.
         
    • You must be completing tasks or activities to help you return to work. 
      • If you are not, your weeks may be denied. 
    Where is my notice to tell me why my weeks are denied?

    Although weeks may show denied immediately, the system may take some time to complete the process to generate correspondence. New correspondence is generally available after 6 p.m.

    Why do I have a Program Integrity hold?

    The pandemic, and the availability of new benefit programs, caused a substantial increase in fraudulent claims being filed. Fraudsters are filing unemployment claims using stolen identities obtained in various data breaches that occurred in recent years. To stop benefits from being paid to these fraudsters, we have implemented various measures to ensure that claims are legitimate and that the individual who is filing a claim and requesting payment is the individual named on the claim. In some cases, an identity verification is sufficient to resolve a program integrity hold, while other cases require additional investigation.