The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment shut down its unemployment benefits systems as it began moving more than 1.5 million claims over to a newer, modernized platform set to launch this weekend.
(TNS) — It's a pivotal week for the
On Tuesday afternoon, the state shut down its unemployment benefits systems as it began moving more than 1.5 million claims over to a newer, modernized platform set to launch this weekend.
More secure, easier to use and more efficient than its much-maligned predecessor, state officials say, the new system is expected to be activated on Sunday in time for thousands of people to log on and request payments for the prior week.
CDLE deputy executive director
"We have done significant testing and modeling and daily updates with the vendor on the status of the program and the initiative to go live," Haavind said.
But contingency plans are also in place, Haavind said, and hundreds of workers are being added to the labor department call center dedicated to serving people accessing the new system.
The launch caps an effort that dates back years. In early December,
The system going live this weekend — dubbed MyUI+ — was originally slated to launch in April but the labor department pivoted to use it for the federally funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, program set up to serve gig workers, contractors and the self-employed. Now all claims will be handled through the same portal and all people collecting unemployment will be required to request payments once a week instead of some requesting every other week as required under the now-deactivated system.
"(The new program) will bring more flexibility, agility and cloud-based systems to the claimant side of the unemployment insurance program," Barela said Tuesday.
One immediate benefit of the new system is state officials expect it to be much easier and faster to reprogram under new federal guidelines. In the aftermath of President
The timeline for when those programs will become available to Coloradans — PUA and federal extended benefits have been shut off since
— The PUA program has been extended by 11 weeks, giving claimants up to 50 weeks of support through
— Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation has also been extended by 11 weeks, given people access to up to 24 weeks of benefits through
— The new Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program will provide $300 in extra unemployment support for up to 11 weeks before it also expires on
State labor officials expect the $300 boost payments to be the first new feature to be set up once the
The state processed nearly 1 million unemployment claims between mid March and the end of 2020.
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