As unemployment claims continue to skyrocket due to new rules mandated by Gov. Polis that are forcing businesses to close, jobless Coloradans are now facing additional problems.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) reportedly stopped paying previously approved benefits to eligible individuals just as the holiday season began.
Making matters worse, the individuals affected by this bureaucratic incompetence can’t even get answers from the Polis administration.
Matthews was getting a weekly unemployment check, but recently, the money stopped coming. Now, he says he can’t even get a call back for someone to help him understand why.
“I noticed that it said I had a pending review, I tried to call and set up an appointment, I was told over the phone there was no availability to set up an appointment, they take you through the process to do it, but at the very end, they just stonewall you and say, ‘sorry there’s no appointments,’” Matthews explained. “It says, I’m sorry there are no phone appointments available, thank you.’”
Reports revealed earlier this year the CDLE operates with antiquated technology from the 1980s, something John Hickenlooper failed to address when he was governor.
Surging unemployment claims have strained the system and few IT professionals today are fluent in the decades old coding language used by the department.
Polis also seems to have been completely oblivious to the problem until after the pandemic began.
His administration now claims the state will update its systems in January.
However, that’s too little too late for unemployed Coloradans who Polis and his incompetent underlings stiffed during Christmas.
“I don’t know when I’m going to see my next payment,” LaNave said. “So, I don’t know when I’m going to buy groceries, when I will pay the utilities.”
CBS4 reached out to the CDLE for answers about why these issues persist, and how the technology modernization will affect claims. Some of the department’s administrators are currently facing furloughs, and the department says it is working to send responses soon.