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Phase 2 federal unemployment rollout begins in Colorado

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Posted at 11:49 AM, Feb 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 19:27:41-05

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) began rolling out Phase 2 of the federal extended unemployment benefits rollout on Saturday.

The CDLE said the majority of claimants were able to certify for back weeks on Saturday, rather than waiting for their regular Sunday certification. As of midday on Saturday more than 30,000 total claims were filed or reopened.

Phase 2 of the rollout of the Continued Assistance Act will get unemployment benefits out to several groups — people who exhausted their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits before Dec. 26; people who were receiving PUA or PEUC benefits in Phase 1 who already exhausted those benefits; regular state unemployment claimants who exhausted their benefits since Dec. 26 who will now be eligible for PEUC; and people who are newly eligible to file for PUA or PEUC after exhausting their regular state benefits after Dec. 26, the department said.

As was the case with Phase 1, people certifying PUA claims will have to first log in to their account, request payment for any available weeks within their account, and then apply for standard unemployment and confirm they are not eligible for those. Once the standard claim is denied, those people should be able to reopen a PUA claim the next day. People who do not see an option to “Apply for Standard UI Benefits” can skip the step, according to the email that went out to potential Phase 2 claimants.

New PUA filers will have to go through the ID.Me check to verify their identity – an extra step that officials say will help combat fraud from the outset.