By Kati Weis

DENVER (CBS4) – There’s some hopeful news for the hundreds of thousands of Coloradans still waiting to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, payments. Administrators with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment say Phase Two of the PUA rollout plan will start Saturday.

That means claimants who had exhausted their previous benefits will now receive more unemployment money from the federal Continued Assistance Act signed in December.

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The CDLE says it has already emailed 289,000 claimants with information on how to participate in Phase Two, but claimants who believe they are eligible and didn’t receive an email, should still sign in to their MyUI+ account on Saturday.

Claimants will be required to verify their identity with the new IDMe tool in order to receive the extended PUA benefits. Officials said claimants should be able to begin requesting back pay payments by Sunday.

Administrators warned the online system will be down Friday night starting at 5:30 p.m. and will be back up Saturday morning at 3 a.m.

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The department says it will have extended call center hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday to support any questions claimants may have.

The claimants in Phase Two have been waiting for these payments since the start of 2021.

The CDLE rolled out Phase One of the Continued Assistance Act payments in late January for claimants who had not previously exhausted their PUA claims.

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The two-tiered disbursement plan comes after the CDLE conducted a major technology overhaul in January of its outdated technology from the 1980s. The CDLE hopes the new system will be more user-friendly and cause fewer technical glitches that could impact claims.

Kati Weis