By Jacqueline Quynh

DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment system for unemployment benefits is going to be offline for the next 5 days. The department will be completing a major system upgrade during that time.

(credit: CBS)

“There will be no ability for a claimant to access their claims information nor will our agents have the ability to access their claim information for the two systems,” Cher Haavind, CDLE Deputy Director said.

The new system is expected to sync existing claims to the new one.

“We have claimants on multiple applications so this creates an issue as we strive to make sure people who exhaust state benefits can move on to federal benefits,” Joe Barela, CDLE Exec. Dir. explained.

While it seems like an odd time to do an upgrade, this was planned before the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the upgrade had been delayed because of it.

“As we have reported since July, fraud within the unemployment system has been rampant following the passage of the CARES Act,” Barela said.

(credit: CBS)

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment could not specify how many cases or how much money has been compromised but they also expect the new system to fix this security issue. That’s no consolation to some folks who are confused about their claims.

“Nobody is answering their phones, they don’t respond via email, nothing… so it’s like you’re leaving people that are in a crisis that are going to end up being homeless, can’t feed their families, it’s just a mess,” Krista Gomez said.

Gomez has been working through claims issues and often finds answers on Facebook. She’s even trying to help others in online unemployment groups.

“In the end it’ll be helpful, but right now, it’s not,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

She would have preferred the upgrade be pushed back until the new round of payments and stimulus come in.

The system should be back online Jan. 10. By then users will have to make sure they a login to the new MyUI+ website.

“You never know with these new systems how they’re actually going to end up working,” Gomez added.

Jacqueline Quynh