COLORADO, USA — One caller who identified himself as a veteran said he was worried his family would be thrown out in the snow if he was unable to get his unemployment.
This is one of multiple stories that emerged during a Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) virtual town hall Friday, where multiple members of the public who said they were having difficulty getting their benefits were connected with members of the agency with resources.
Some of the most common questions dealt with:
- Legitimate claims that were flagged as fraud.
- Difficulty accessing pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) federal benefits -- something that CDLE conceded has been delayed due to a migration to an updated system.
- Difficulty being connected with help to resolve issues with claims. One person said an operator for the phone bank he was directed to asked what a 1099 tax form is.
> Watch the video above for a replay of the town hall, which was held at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20.
Earlier this month, CDLE launched a new unemployment benefits website known as MyUI+. The upgrade was supposed to be done last year, but then it was put off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Claimants who are having issues can call CDLE at 303-536-5615, according to an online message. Extended support hours are available through Friday, Jan. 22, the post says.
Here are the hours:
- Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Jan. 11 through Jan. 22)
- Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (after Jan. 22)
The new system is not yet programmed to address anyone receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC); State Extended Benefits (SEB).
After that reprogramming is complete, claimants will be able to request payment for any back weeks owed.
CDLE also discussed fraud during Friday's town hall. The agency has said earlier that there was a big increase in fraud clams on the regular unemployment system once federal programs were shut in December.
On its website, CDLE says some people have received inaccurate 1099-G tax forms, and anyone who received one who didn't receive unemployment benefits may have been the victim of identity theft.
Here’s what you should do if you’ve received a 1099-G document from CDLE but did not file a claim for unemployment benefits:
- Report it to CDLE using the Report Invalid 1099 form.
- Contact the three consumer credit bureaus and put a fraud alert on your name and Social Security Number (SSN). Credit Bureau Contact Info:
- File a counter-report with your local police department to have a record on file.
- Create a file where you can keep records of this identity theft in one place.
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