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Colorado estimates 9,300 new jobless claims filed

Labor officials also report $26.2 million in regular unemployment benefits were paid out to claimants last week.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) estimated 9,305 initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims were filed the week ending April 3, and $26.2 million in benefits were paid out.

CDLE also reported 2,180 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims were filed the same week.

>Video above: Colorado unemployment claimants required to verify their identify.

The number of continued claims for the week ending March 27 totaled 261,156, according to CDLE. That includes 81,772 from the regular UI program, 87,880 from the PUA program and 91,504 from the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program.

An estimated 210,911 individuals filed these claims, CDLE said.

Since mid-March of 2020, CDLE estimates a total of 900,734 regular UI claims have been filed, and an estimated total of 1,164,455 claims have been filed including the PUA program.  

RELATED: Audit of CDLE unable to track a half-billion dollars paid into unemployment fund

Colorado unemployment benefits paid out between March 29, 2020 and April 3, 2021

  • Regular UI: $2.87 billion
  • PUA (gig workers/self-employed): $1.29 billion
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($30 in weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants): $3.23 billion
  • PEUC (extends unemployment benefits by additional 11 weeks): $739.2 million
  • State Extended Benefits (extends unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks): $31.7 million
  • Lost Wages Assistance ($300/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants, fall 2020): $389.2 million

  • Total: $8.66 billion

Verifying identity with ID.me

Due to a significant increase in suspected fraud, particularly in the PUA program, CDLE said last week it is requiring all claimants with continued claims who have not verified their identity through the the ID.me process to do so. The process takes about 15 minutes.

If a claimant cannot complete the self-guided process, they will need to verify their identity through a live video call with an ID.me representative.

About 15% of all claimants do need to be verified through a live video call, and CDLE said last week that wait times are currently high due to the volume of calls. 

Claimants should not verify their identity via ID.me if they already have, or if they have reported a fraudulent claim and have not applied for unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

RELATED: Q&A: Questions about unemployment money and taxes — answered

U.S. unemployment claims data

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to 744,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, consumers gain confidence and the government distributes aid throughout the economy.

The United States Department of Labor said Thursday that applications increased by 16,000 from 728,000 a week earlier. Jobless claims have declined sharply since the virus slammed into the economy in March of last year. But they remain high by historical standards: Before the pandemic erupted, weekly applications typically remained below 220,000 a week.

For the week ending March 27, 3.7 million people were receiving traditional state unemployment benefits, the government said. If you include supplemental federal programs that were established last year to help the unemployed endure the health crisis, a total of 18.2 million are receiving some form of jobless aid the week of March 20.

RELATED: US jobless claims up to 744K as virus still forces layoffs

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