The unemployment portal for Colorado was hit with approximately 180,000 attempts by people filing for benefits online this week.
The week before the number was around 7,000.
The high traffic resulted in many, likely thousands, not completing their claims. The labor agency is working on rolling out updates over the weekend to address the problem.
An agency spokesperson said, “We’re seeing a week’s worth of claims in a single day. We’re not able to get all the claims because not many were able to get through”. The agency is beefing up the system now to create multiple pathways to support a much higher number of simultaneous users.
There’s a notice on the site, at coloradoui.gov asking users with last names that begin with A to M to file on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday or in the afternoon on Saturday. All others are asked to file on the opposite days. Currently, the suggestion is voluntary but may become required if demand continues to be extremely high.
Colorado’s closing of a wide swath of businesses in the state triggered companies laying off employees by the thousands. Bars, gyms, restaurants, casinos, ski resorts, salons, massage parlors, tattoo shops, and arts and movie theaters have all be closed.
The agency saw it’s call center contact spike by a ten-fold increase with almost 100,000 calls during the week.
In Colorado, unemployment insurance provides full-time employees with approximately 55% of their usual pay. Unemployed workers who complete a filing should see payments beginning within ten days and will not have to provide proof of searching for another job.
Employers will get relief as well since the money will be considered a social charge, meaning it comes from the $1.1 billion greater trust fund that Colorado’s 160,000 employers pay into instead of paying out of the employer’s individual unemployment accounts.
The intent of making it a ‘social charge’ is to help struggling employers who are seeing large decreases in their regular business and revenues.
A ‘social charge’ designation means that the dollars used do not count against individual employers’ accounts.
For unemployment benefits and eligibility information, click here.
To estimate your payments click here.
File by phone by calling 303-318-9000 or to file online click here.
To watch a video on how to file a claim, click here.
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