Colorado’s Unemployment Extended Benefit Will End In Late November, More Fed Aid Still In Limbo

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David Zalubowski/AP
Cheyenne Davidson decorates a Christmas tree in the window of the store that she manages along Washington Avenue, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, in Golden, Colo. Shopkeepers are preparing for the holidays in spite of the surging cases of coronavirus across the country.

Colorado will stop providing extended funds to thousands of unemployed people later in November because not as many individuals filed for unemployment earlier in the month.

The funds came from a federal program for people who are economically affected by the coronavirus pandemic but have already exhausted regular and federal emergency benefits. The last payable week of the State’s Extended Benefits is Nov. 28, said officials with Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment, during a Friday update on the latest unemployment numbers.

More than 16,000 people received funds through the program, said labor department chief communications officer Cher Roybal Haavind.

“When you look at the convergence of (State Extended Benefits) triggering off and the end of the CARES Act benefits — (Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) — this certainly will create an issue for Coloradans, who've come to rely on these benefits,” she said.

The last payable week of the federal CARES Act funding is Dec. 26, where millions of people and thousands of businesses will no longer receive federal aid.

The state said it has to stop giving the extended benefits because of a drop in how many people filed for unemployment during the week that ended on Nov. 14. The insured unemployment rate must be 5 percent or higher to receive the benefits. That threshold is federally set.

If the rate changes, the state will have to wait at least 13 weeks before it can offer the state extended benefits again. The department said it will notify the people affected and see if they are able to qualify for other aid like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.