The state’s long-awaited new unemployment insurance filing system is up and running, but only displaced Colorado workers who are receiving regular benefits can request weekly payments at this time.
Those wanting to request payments from federal aid programs through the system have to wait, at least for now, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment says.
The new system, called MyUI+, officially went online early Sunday. Since then, more than 100,000 claimants have accessed the system, either to file new claims or to check on existing ones.
Of those, 43,000 claimants successfully completed their first weekly payment request.
While claimants for state and federal aid are able to access the system, only those requesting state payments can do so.
A number of people have tried to file for payments under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs, but those programs officially expired last month.
Though Congress has approved continuing those two programs, protocols for how they are to be operated are not yet in place.
The department says that people can file or reopen claims under those programs, but no payments could be made until all guidelines from the U.S. Department of Labor were approved and disseminated to states, which occurred on Friday.
The state department, however, is still in the process of reprograming its new system to accommodate those guidelines.
The PUA program is designed for self-employed, gig and contract workers who don’t qualify for regular state unemployment benefits.
The PEUC program is intended for regular state claimants after their 26 weeks of benefits have run out. Under that program, they can qualify for an additional 11 weeks.
While there is a delay in sending out payments for those federal programs, department officials said filers can backdate their claims to Dec. 27, the day after the old programs expired.
Unless Congress acts to extend the two programs again, which lawmakers already are considering, the two federal programs are set to expire on March 13.
The department plans to notify each claimant for those federal programs when they can request actual payments.
All claimants for state and federal aid also are to receive an additional $300 a week from the revived Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which also is good for 11 weeks starting from when their claims are filed or backdated.
That’s the same program that Congress approved in March — which expired in July — that was making $600-a-week payments.
Claimants don’t have to file additional claims to get those payments.
The new filing system is designed to streamline claims and to be more secure against fraudulent filers.