A Detailed Guide To The $375 Stimulus Payments In Colorado
Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis recently signed an executive order to stimulate the state’s economy and extend support to the Coloradans’ worst hit by the current economic crisis. The executive order aims to provide $375 stimulus payments to the qualifying Coloradans.
The stimulus package is said to cost the state about $168 million. The order will provide financial aid to more than 400,000 Coloradans whose earnings are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More About The $375 Stimulus Payments In Colorado
According to the Colorado Governor’s office, on October 28, 2020, Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order that will provide a one-time, $375 stimulus payment to the residents facing economic hardship caused directly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) estimated that about 65% of the total Unemployment Insurance claimants since March 15, 2020, will qualify for the stimulus payments.
Governor Jared Polis stated, “Washington D.C has failed to act to provide additional direct cash support for hardworking Coloradans and to stimulate the economy further, so today Colorado is boldly doing our part to help our own.”
Polis further stated, “I am taking swift action in close consultation with legislative leadership and members of the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) to direct immediate payments to people whose lives and jobs have been hurt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Colorado can and should act now to help the hardworking people who will help lead us out of this challenging time, and that’s what we’re doing today.”
The state tied the one-time stimulus payment to the regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. Governor Polis noted that many residents had not received their federal unemployment benefits since early September 2020. The new executive order directs the stimulus payment from the state’s UI system to qualified individuals.
Who Funds The Stimulus Payments?
The $168 million funds for the executive order will be made available from the following funds:
- $5.3 million from the Controlled Maintenance Trust Fund.
- $13.8 million from the existing funds in the Disaster Emergency Fund.
- $148.9 million from the General Fund from the Medicaid dollars.
Large funds are available from the Medicaid dollars due to the extension of federal matching funds and lower estimated growth in Medicaid enrollment.
Who Qualifies For The $375 Stimulus Payments In Colorado?
To receive $375 stimulus payments, one should meet certain eligibility criteria.
- Coloradans who received unemployment benefits at least $1 through the unemployment program between March 15 and October 24, 2020, qualify for the payment.
- Coloradans who were eligible for weekly unemployment benefits between $25 to $500 between March 15 and October 24, 2020 qualify for the stimulus payment.
Note – Unemployment program includes the state Unemployment Insurance program,
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Extended Benefits (EB), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), federal unemployment for ex-service members, Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA), Short-Time Compensation (STC), and payments under the Self-Employment Assistant (SEA) program.
According to the Colorado Department of Labor Employment (CDLE), the stimulus checks are not regular unemployment or enhanced unemployment payments and therefore are not subject to the federal and state unemployment eligibility criteria and rules.
How To Apply For The $375 Stimulus Payments?
According to the CDLE, eligible Coloradans need not take any additional steps to receive the stimulus check. The Department will directly contact the qualified individual for the one-time payment. Coloradans will get a notification through mail or by phone and receive the payment through their bank account or ReliaCard. However, to speed up the process, claimants can cross-verify if their address and payment information is up to date.
When Will The Coloradans Receive The Payment?
According to the CDLE, the eligible Coloradans can expect to receive stimulus payment starting December first week.
What To Do If One Is Recently Unemployed?
As mentioned above, to receive a $375 stimulus payment in Colorado, one should receive state-required minimum benefits between March 15 and October 24, 2020. If an individual has lost a job recently, he or she cannot qualify for the stimulus payment. However, the individual can still qualify for the regular Unemployment Insurance program.
Who Qualifies For The Colorado Unemployment Benefits?
Individuals who have met certain eligibility criteria will only qualify for the unemployment benefits in Colorado. The eligibility requirements include:
- One must have lost a job through no fault of his or her own
- One must be able, available, and ready to take up a suitable job
- One must be actively seeking a job
- One must record his or her work search activities
- One must have earned state-defined minimum wages and worked for minimum hours
One can apply for unemployment benefits in Colorado by visiting https://myui.coworkforce.com/Welcome.
Note that the self-employed, gig-workers and independent contractors do not qualify for the regular unemployment benefits program but for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program was created under the CARES Act to provide benefits to those who otherwise do not qualify for the regular unemployment benefits. The program provides benefits up to 39 weeks and is scheduled to end on December 31, 2020.
To qualify for the Pandemic Assistance program, one must meet eligibility requirements including, but not limited to:
- Lost job due to the direct result of COVID-19
- Is diagnosed with COVID-19 and seeking medical help
- Is giving care to a family member diagnosed with COVID-19
To know more about the program in the state, visit the CDLE website.
The state is taking all necessary steps to help the unemployed residents. The Governor is looking to work with state lawmakers to develop plans to provide an economic stimulus in the next state budget. The Governor’s office is drafting a proposal, which will be presented to the state legislature’s joint budget committee on November 12, 2020.
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