WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – After weeks without payments, many Coloradans are facing headaches as their existing claims are on pause.

“You have to wait a couple hours just to talk to someone to tell you they’re not going to help you very much anyways,” said John Thomas of Westminster.

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Thomas spent two days on phone calls, but says he hasn’t been given an explanation as to why his checks haven’t resumed. His last unemployment insurance check came in November. He says his online account shows he’s eligible for about $2,000.

He’s like many Coloradans who are spending their days on the phone.

“Both times I had to wait two hours and no help in sight,” Thomas said.

On Tuesday, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said it had an additional 82 call takers adding to nearly 400 already working. The state says, since a new system came online in January, $215 million in regular UI has been paid out.

Including 150,000 people receiving a payment since Saturday.

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The state says it’s worked through a first phase of people and expects to get payments to many more throughout this week.

“I’ve heard every story in the book of why this thing should work,” said Thomas. “I have a mortgage to pay. I have a car payment to pay. I have bills and I didn’t make this happen.”

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Thomas is like many other Coloradans who wrote in to CBS4 saying they have an existing claim and the new state system doesn’t have a solution for them. They spend hours on the phone and don’t get answers as to why they haven’t received checks in weeks.

“At some point in time, waiting isn’t an answer anymore,” Thomas said.

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Tuesday night, CDLE said it started a new Frequently Asked Questions webpage to address many of the questions and concerns it has received over the past few days. That page will be directly emailed to claimants.

Jeff Todd