Apply by Phone: You can also make a claim through phone by dialing (303) 318-9000 for the metro area and (800) 288-5515 for outside-metro area. “The department has successfully paid unemployment benefits to more than 500,000 hardworking Coloradans and the staff is working around the clock to help people who have questions about their claims,” spokesman Conor Cahill wrote in an email. The maximum benefit is $618 per week and is paid for 26 weeks. The new measures are to address the most common reasons people call in. The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado: “I was getting in about five calls a minute, and maybe every 60 or so I would get into the recording. First-time claimants fill out. Test scores and graduation rates show Denver Public Schools has not served students of color as well as it has the 25% of students who are white. Created through a partnership with Google at a cost of $680,000, the virtual agent — accessible by calling the customer service line (303-318-9000 in metro Denver, 800-388-5515 outside of Denver) or by visiting ColoradoUi.gov — will be available 24 hours a day. The bad news? Tech+Business+Economy, These are selected by the writer and confirmed by the editor. Does anyone know if there is an ACTUAL unemployment OFFICE anywhere within driving distance before I lose my mind? But you might get a call back on Saturday, when the call center makes only outbound calls to claimants who’ve asked for help. Unemployment phone number busy regardless of time of day. It’s also getting 12,000 to 14,000 phone calls a day, she said. “At a high level, I can say that where we can automate or schedule a callback for the issues causing a call, we’re implementing some of those solutions,” said Cher Haavind, deputy executive director for the Department of Labor. The department will also reopen its lobby at 251 E. 12th Ave. in Denver on June 8 for in-person meetings, but only by appointment, which will start June 1. Callers should not be having trouble getting through. Here are some changes made since March: Regular unemployment benefits are 55% of a person’s average weekly salary (including tips) over a 12-month period. Again, your Colorado unemployment phone number is: Toll Free: 1-800-388-5515 For those who want to … “And finally, at about 12:30, I got on the phone with someone who just said, ‘Yup, you can change your status to active online now.’”. Those are to check on a claim status, backdate a claim, reopen a claim, ask banking or payment questions, inquire about missing wages, exhausted benefits, job refusals and pandemic benefits. Email. Calls to the state's unemployment call center are 10-30 times higher than pre-coronavirus. “It provides equity for folks getting in. Employers can file a job-refusal form, which the labor agency investigates. Since the start of coronavirus-related business closures, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment upgraded its computer systems to handle the influx, quadrupled the support staff to answer calls and provided an abundance of information on its site at coloradoui.gov — so unemployed workers should check it frequently. So far, the state says 86% of the folks who have filed a claim are receiving the benefit, while the others are still being processed. State Sen. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, worked with the labor department on a bill passed in the 2020 legislative session the will reform a number of aspects of the unemployment insurance program including greatly increasing the amount employers pay into the unemployment trust fund in the future. They said you're supposed to receive a PIN number in the mail (so you can log in to the system, check your status, request funds, etc.) Some workers don’t want to return to old jobs because they make more money on unemployment. In two months, the agency has rolled out several alternatives to a phone call and continues to add new self-help features. Weekly claims numbers have begun to level off — 7,727 people filed for state benefits last week, the lowest total since March 14 — but the unprecedented spike in need has more than overwhelmed the state’s call center, where, on average, 8,000 calls go unanswered each weekday. ... unemployment offices struggled with busy … That includes temps and more than 90 agents working at an outsourced call center to handle pandemic claims. EastIdahoNews.com tried to call the phone number multiple times. That seems to be a better stat than the rest of the nation’s unemployed; one expert has estimated only 60% have been paid nationally, according to a Bloomberg News story. That number is … Requests for payment can be made after registering. The ability to leave a message and get a call back is coming, possibly even this week. When you call the CO unemployment phone number, make sure that you have the following information: 1. “We should not have those long of wait times, and the department knows that. Social security number. People relying on state benefits to survive during the pandemic have been sounding the alarm for months about how hard it is to reach someone at the unemployment call center. Virtual agent to answer Colorado unemployment calls beginning next week, U.S. layoffs remain elevated as 803,000 seek jobless aid, Congress approves $900B COVID relief bill, sending to Trump, Coloradans in Congress vote for COVID relief largely along party lines, Highlights of $900 billion COVID-19 relief, wrapup bills, Congress seals agreement on $900 billion COVID relief bill, Colorado’s unemployment call center will likely never meet COVID-driven demand, as 40,000 calls go unanswered weekly, More than 617,000 Coloradans have filed unemployment claims since mid March. Posted by 3 months ago. The state will launch its new “virtual agent” system after the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s perpetually over-stressed call center closes Tuesday afternoon, Jeff Fitzgerald, the chief of the state unemployment program, said Thursday. You must request the payment of unemployment insurance benefits every two weeks. Virtual agent to answer…, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Submit to Stumbleupon (Opens in new window). Within a month of the governor’s first orders to restrict crowds, the state’s unemployment agency had doubled the staff from 57 agents in early March at its call centers. UC Service Center Busy Signals: What is an Unemployed Person to Do? Support independent, Colorado-owned journalism by joining The Colorado Sun. They’re part of a captive population at the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center outside Fort Collins where there have been no cases of COVID-19 to date. If you are newly unemployed and must call in about filing for the first time, An unemployment insurance chatbot debuted April 22 to answer simple questions, such as who gets that extra $600 a week from the federal government (Answer: Anyone receiving any amount of regular unemployment pay for the week. Colorado has ramped up its capacity, but soon getting help … He turned to the department’s phone lines, which he says were constantly busy. Call Center Phone Numbers Toll Free: 1 (877) 600-2722 within 3-4 days of filing. * Request payment online through MyUI * Request payment by telephone: 303-813-2800 (Denver metro area) It will be able to answer general questions on topics including work search requirements and reopening claims. After weeks of random and unsuccessful calls to the state’s unemployment phone number, Jamie Scappaticci set aside Tuesday to connect with any living soul who’d answer the unemployment help line at 800-388-5515. He was disconnected 83 times but the two times he got through, he was subsequently disconnected. The Unemployment Insurance Call Center is extending its hours Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. “I’ve been trying to get through on the phone to the unemployment office as I did yesterday but again I just get a busy signal as soon as I call,” Bill Stahl said. (Payment requests typically begin two weeks after filing for unemployment.) It now employs about 250 people, though some are still in training. If a worker is part of a vulnerable group, for example, the employee doesn’t have to return to the job. The impact of coronavirus closures had 40,000 Coloradans applying for unemployment since Sunday, bringing the total number of official claims and new applicants in … I have tried calling the number outside of regular hours, after getting nothing but busy signals for 3 weeks, and busy no matter the time of day. Normally, eligible workers can apply for such benefits through their state offices online, by phone, or in person. Surprisingly a lot of readers have said emailing your state unemployment department or agency has worked more effectively than trying to get a live agent. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! We’ve made system improvements as we were able to and we will continue to make improvements, but we are still in a fairly new territory,” she said. Employer accounts and liability are established once the employer has registered with the Unemployment Insurance Program. Improvements were made in the first week and continued to be made. You will receive complete instructions and will be asked for information in order to begin your claim. Coronavirus-related layoffs are leading to jammed phone lines and crashed websites at unemployment offices from coast to coast. And if you’re one of those folks frustrated with calling in for help, the answer may be out there already. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS. Colorado began accepting claims for PUA on April 20. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Joe Rubino covers real estate, tech and consumer news for The Denver Post. These busy signals follow the layoff of more than 500 state workers who answered phone calls from the jobless to help them file unemployment claims. Everyone who qualifies for even just $1 of regular unemployment benefits, will be paid an extra $600 per week as part of the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), thanks to the federal CARES Act. For information regarding Overpayments of Unemployment Insurance: Call: 1-800-553-5396. But there are also 10 to 30 times more people calling in every day for help and only 6% of calls to the regular unemployment line have been getting answered, according to the agency. State officials have emphasized the importance of technology — online how-to videos, an automated chatbot on the website — in meeting the demand. Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) call center is presently experiencing very high call volumes. Once the technology is better integrated with the state’s system in mid-August, it will be able to provide callers with specific answers to some claims questions. Fitzgerald expects the virtual agent will eventually be able to handle more than 50% of call center demand. 3 minutes — Average wait times for pandemic calls, 13 minutes — Average call length for regular unemployment, 10 minutes — Average call for pandemic calls, 1,000 to 1,200 calls are answered daily on the regular employment line, 2,200 to 2,500 calls are answered daily at the pandemic call center, 12,918 unique numbers per day get a busy signal or message to call back later due to “high call volume”. “I would say by any reasonable measure its behind,” Hansen said. 2 NEWS called the state’s unemployment line. But if you must call in, here’s what to expect, according to data shared by the Labor Department: This story was updated at 11 a.m. on May 28, 2020 to include new tools and measures the Colorado Department of Labor is rolling out by June 1, 2020. As many businesses remain closed and unemployment rates skyrocket, it's no secret that people are fed up. Jared Polis said he was pardoning the balloon boy's parents, Mayumi Heene and Richard Heene, because "we are all ready to move past the spectacle from a decade ago", For the newly vaccinated ferrets, the main risk is to the animals themselves. Support local journalism around the state.Become a member of The Colorado Sun today! One issue some employers have is in rehiring workers to reopen their business or qualify for federal Paycheck Protection Plan loan forgiveness. He hopes that frustration will be short-lived. of Labor virtual town hall: Get help by phone for regular unemployment (expect a long wait): 303-318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515; Spanish: 303-318-9333 or 1-866-422-0402; Deaf or hard of hearing: 303-318-9016 or 800-894-7730, Request a payment every other week: 303-813-2800, 888-550-2800 or at. Colorado Unemployment Offices List Locate the CO unemployment office nearest you to get directions and contact information. Colorado’s hospitality industry hardest hit by coronavirus unemployment, with claims up 600% in a week. A spokesman for Gov. In the first week that hordes of workers lost their jobs due to coronavirus closures, the state’s unemployment call centers saw calls increase 10 fold, with 99,000 calls in a week compared to 9,900 the prior week. I asked her for the phone number in case i got disconnected and she gave it to me. A worker could also lose unemployment benefits if they return to work part-time or receive other job compensation that is higher than their regular unemployment benefits. Unemployment phone number busy regardless of time of day. More than 617,000 Coloradans have filed unemployment claims since mid March amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Another 12,918 unique phone numbers per day get a busy signal or a message to call back later. Hansen said he has helped hundreds of constituents who have reached out for help with their claims and is aware of how hard it has been for many to reach someone at the call center this spring and summer. I have spent DAYS calling the Colorado Unemployment line (CUB line) but it's always busy. Dates of employment. The unemployment division's call center — which has typically been open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday — has expanded to include Saturday hours from 12-4 p.m. If you’ve been in an endless cycle of busy signals and automated messages like myself, there actually is some hope. Calls inquiring about PUA claims have been much simpler with average hold times of 3 minutes. Call 1 (877) 600-2722 for assistance. Don’t want to wait on hold? The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment office in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood on March 21, 2020. After going through the menu, an automated voice message said, “We are currently experiencing a … Only W-2 workers, or traditional workers whose employers pay for unemployment insurance, are eligible for the pay. (Updated 5/28/20). Colorado has ramped up its capacity, but soon getting help may no longer require a phone call. Fix a date or backdate an existing claim: Ask a question at Dept. “And quite frankly, it’s our first pandemic.”. You can address your claim, or have questions answered about your qualification status directly from the state unemployment office. Expect more how-to videos, callback forms and more technology, like virtual agents, to handle the volume of calls. These are the PUAs, or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimants, and include independent contractors, freelancers, gig workers, the self-employed and others who typically receive 1099 tax forms. 3. GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. Jared Polis this week lauded the work labor department officials have done in the face of skyrocketing needs. Why have models of Colorado’s coronavirus trajectory been off? The payment of unemployment insurance benefits is supported by the collection of premiums from employers. For those who want to speak with a person, patience still will be part of the equation. The rest of them would either just hang up on me immediately, or give me the option to choose English and then hang up on me,” said Scappaticci, an Aurora resident who expects to return to her early-childhood center job in June. In fact under federal guidelines for these programs, states must provide claimants with alternate modes of contact, which may include email, and communicate with the claimant based on his or her preferred method of contact. Email Report a Problem or Ask a Question For technical support on online services call 303-534-3468 X 0 Please note that we are not a state agency Starting Wednesday, a machine will be answering the Colorado unemployment office’s customer support line, and busy signals will be a thing of the past. 47 minutes — Average wait times for regular unemployment between May 1-11. Only 6% of calls to Colorado’s unemployment line are getting answered. The Colorado Sun — tamara@coloradosun.com And those who’ve spent hours on hold — the average wait time has been 47 minutes — may not realize the answers and updates are now available, or have been there all along. “Along with that came 1,000 calls a day to 20 or 30,000. So many are calling, … Unemployment websites are crashing as the number of claims in the U.S. skyrocket because of the coronavirus outbreak. It also provides time certainty on getting their needs met,” Fitzgerald said. "I got the busy signal and then I finally got through -- and then after 15 minutes it … It’s a case-by-case ruling by the state. The State does not have enough staff to answer the phone – … one expert has estimated only 60% have been paid nationally, colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/covid-19/town-halls, calls increase 10 fold, with 99,000 calls in a week, Colorado governor pardons parents behind “balloon boy” hoax, 16 others, At risk of extinction, black-footed ferrets in Colorado get experimental COVID vaccine, A new Denver high school modeled after historically Black colleges opens next fall, Colorado’s tiny mountain post offices are hamstrung — for the second straight holiday season, Here’s how Colorado’s unemployed influenced the new federal coronavirus relief bill, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, (720) 263-2338 — Call, text, Signal or WhatsApp. Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy aims to repair that. The next one is set for Friday, May 29, at 9:15 a.m. in English and 11:30 a.m. in Spanish (register at, Benefits are retroactive to March 29 and, if you remain eligible, can last until the end of July, Those on regular unemployment don’t have to do a thing to get PUC. There are other things that are new or have changed. The message just said, “the unemployment department has been overwhelmed with calls, try the website or call back.” He felt so powerless. It’s now taking two to six weeks to get a payment, depending on how complicated the case is. And for months, the unemployed could not send an email or leave a message — even to fix a simple error such as the wrong furlough start date, as one Colorado Sun reader had done. The virtual agent system is employed in several other states, Fitzgerald said. That is the line for the Northern California Phone Interview Division of EDD. This has resulted in busy signals and longer hold times. Or can anyone give me tips on when the best times to call or tricks they've used to get through? Once registered, you’ll get a PIN by email or snail-mail to access benefits (manage them at myui.coworkforce.com/Welcome) and to request payments every two weeks. Fitzgerald acknowledged it will take the new system time to catch up. If you have filed for unemployment benefits (claimant) and think you should have received a Notice of Decision, or if the phone line or MyUI says you are disqualified or postponed and you don't know why, call the Customer Contact Center at 303-318-9000 or 1-800-388-5515 to find out. Close. But changes are on the horizon. 9. “We’ve been making changes daily.”. Date: September 26, 2013 1/36 MyUI Claimant User Guide Version 1.0 September 26, 2013 1-408-436-5603. Back in January, I blogged about how the state of Colorado is constantly serving up the busy signal to the jobless who need to call in to file for unemployment or to get questions answered. The CARES Act also provides $600 a week to workers who don’t qualify for unemployment benefits because they don’t normally pay for unemployment insurance. The first-time filer had mistakenly let her benefits lapse in mid-April because she didn’t realize those on unemployment must request a payment every two weeks. A pen or pencil, and paper - to take notes. He wrote for the Broomfield Enterprise, Boulder Daily Camera and YourHub before joining the Post's business desk in 2017. The pandemic unemployment assistance call center, which serves self-employed people, gig economy workers and others, will not use the new technology. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun), Primary category in which blog post is published, How to submit an opinion piece to The Sun, Learn more about Civil’s Credibility Indicators, added a request form for claimants to backdate claims without calling in. Call centers are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Haavind said the state’s call center went from one staffed to handle record-low unemployment rates of 2.5% to record highs within weeks. No more busy signal. Legions of workers who have been laid off or furloughed say it remains impossible to reach the state’s unemployment compensation office: The phone lines are forever busy, … You’ll also need to register with a local workforce center at ConnectingColorado.com to look for a job to remain eligible for benefits — although this requirement has been waived during the pandemic. Each time, a voice message said the line was busy and to try again later. Much has changed since nearly a half-million Coloradans began filing for unemployment benefits in mid-March. Another Sun reader, Mike Egan, shared that he called 85 times around 3:30 p.m. on Friday. And thank god for nice Vietnamese people, she was quick and more than helpful. Have you been calling the UC Service Center for hours or days about your unemployment claim without getting past a busy signal or long wait? Now, the state is getting anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 calls a day, though most likely the same people are calling in multiple times an hour. Calls to the state's unemployment call center are 10-30 times higher than pre-coronavirus. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment added a new call-back form to its website Thursday, allowing people to request a call from the state’s unemployment division within one to two business days. Hope this helps someone. If the automated system can’t help a caller, it will allow them to schedule a callback from an unemployment office staffer as long as the caller can make themselves available during a two-hour window, Fitzgerald said. Denver Metro: 303-318-9100 or Toll Free: 1-800-480-8299 Audits: 303-318-9100 cdle_employer_services@state.co.us The CARES Act also adds 13 weeks of benefits and can be paid out until Dec. 26. One backlog it has eliminated, according to Dickinson, is the number of initial claims awaiting processing. A caveat: For self-employed workers who earned at least $2,500 in the past 18 months and filed a W-2 form, federal law requires those folks to file for regular state unemployment first and exhaust those benefits before applying for PUA. Staffing at its call … And the department has brought significant new resources to bear.”. No more busy signal. More than 70,813 have applied, including nearly 41,000 in the first week. Can't do the online thing, keeps telling me to cal. That means they also lose the pandemic bonus. This includes directly interviewing sources and research / analysis of primary source documents. As a news piece, this article cites verifiable, third-party sources which have all been thoroughly fact-checked and deemed credible by the Newsroom in accordance with the Civil Constitution. The benefit is paid as part of their regular bi-monthly request. He expects that in the early going, callback schedules will fill up quickly, just as the schedule for in-person meetings in the labor department’s lobby have. Also waived: the waiting week. If not, the worker’s unemployment benefits are suspended. “They have hired staff, automated processes and next week will implement a new solution that will help address the call center volume even further.”. So on Tuesday, she started calling at 8 a.m., when the call center opened. ), The agency hosts virtual town halls to answer questions from workers. COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment announced assistance for workers and employers during temporary closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Colorado's unemployment insurance database did not generate the personal identification numbers needed for claimants to request benefit payments, a glitch that … Hang up and try to call the local area phone number for the call center. On Thursday, the state labor department announced a new partnership with Google to add callbacks and more virtual support for common issues from callers, and added a request form for claimants to backdate claims without calling in. This article contains new, firsthand information uncovered by its reporter(s). Starting Wednesday, a machine will be answering the Colorado unemployment office’s customer support line, and busy signals will be a thing of the past. Is anyone else experiencing this? I was laid off from my job on March 16 (with the 8 week restaurant/bar closures) and applied for job-attached unemployment the next day. 2. 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