Update from the Colorado Department of Labor on unemployment claims

Daniel Fowler
April 25, 2020

According to the release, last week, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) processed 247,003 initial claims with employer filed claims accounting for 94 percent.

Although many claims are straightforward and require little to no staff intervention, others - often filed by people new to the procedure - require a follow-up interview with the claimant, which created a backlog.

The department's streamlining will result in one of three outcomes for all current and future unemployment insurance claims through May 30th. The action will mean about 5,000 people who were scheduled for fact-finding interviews will see their claims approved, while around 7,000 people will have to be denied first before they can apply again.

More information on the PUA system and updates on the system can be found here. This week, IDES rolled out the Federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides up to 13 weeks' worth of federally funded benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits.

Department officials also said they are continuing to add staff to handle the slew of claims, with more than 500 employees now handling such duties.

Statewide, almost 37,000 more Oregonians filed their initial claims for unemployment insurance last week, pushing the total number of those filing for unemployment benefits to more than 333,000 since the middle of March, when the effects of COVID-19 began rippling through the state, department officials said. The Illinois Department of Employment Security processed over 102,000 initial new unemployment claims for the week ending April 18.

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They'll release details on that next week.

"I'd just encourage everybody if you are thinking, 'Oh gee I'm just going to stay home and collect unemployment benefits because it's paying me more than my job was.' If your employer calls you back take that job, because if you don't you will lose your benefits".

Friday, when asked how quickly they could receive benefits, the Commissioner says, "In order to give you a solid answer, I need to wait until next week to give that to you".

"Our goal here is to make sure that when we roll this benefit out, that it is taking into consideration all of the people who are eligible for it, and that we are accurately providing benefits up front, so that we do not have to rework the system as we move along". "Despite claims to the contrary, returning to work does not automatically eliminate an individual's state unemployment eligibility".

The department has paid out more than $900,000 in benefits since Saturday night, bringing the total unemployment benefits payout to almost $1.4 billion, LeVine said.

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