Most Coloradans who are collecting unemployment benefits can expect to see a sizable increase in their payments by mid-September, officials with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Wednesday — but it remains unclear exactly how much of a boost they’ll get, and how long it will last.
An extra $300 per week in benefits paid through the Lost Wages Assistance program, created by the federal government as a result of an Aug. 8 executive memorandum by President Trump, could be paid out beginning next month.
“This additional benefit of $300 per week will put at least $265 million into the hands of our unemployed workforce who have been impacted by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, and provides critical support during this time of extreme need,” Joe Barela, CDLE’s executive director, said in a statement.
The payments will be retroactive to the week of July 26, when the $600 weekly payments previously established by congressional coronavirus relief legislation expired, and for now they will cover just three weeks of additional payments, through the week ending Aug. 15.
Federal officials “are waiting to see how many states in total apply … before allowing states to request additional weeks,” CDLE officials wrote in an Aug. 19 press release. “It is not certain that this will be limited to just three weeks, we may not know that for some time.”
Also undetermined is whether an additional $100 in state matching funds will be paid out to Colorado claimants.
“That is undecided at this time,” officials wrote.