Gov. Jared Polis on Saturday extended his executive order providing one-time $375 stimulus payments to Coloradans who have filed for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The extension keeps the previously allocated $168 million available to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment for such payments through Feb. 28.
Polis in October announced the aid for Coloradans who’ve suffered financially due to the pandemic. The payments are to be sent to those earning less than $52,000 a year who have filed for unemployment at least once since March 15, and who qualified to receive a weekly benefit between $25 and $500.
When the executive order was issued in October, the governor’s office estimated more than 400,000 Coloradans would receive payments, most by Dec. 1. The executive order already was extended once, in late November.
Most of the money earmarked for the one-time stimulus payments — sent to eligible recipients automatically by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment — comes from overbudgeted portions of the Medicaid program, with the remaining money coming from disaster relief funds, the governor’s office previously said.
People not eligible for traditional state unemployment benefits but who have received federal funds from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program this year also qualify for the $375.
With Level Red restrictions limiting the operation of restaurants, gyms and other types of businesses across much of Colorado, unemployment filings continue to climb.
The state labor department on Thursday reported 52,386 people filed initial claims for unemployment during the week ending Dec. 19 — a 29.4% increase over the week ending Dec. 12, and the worst week for new claims since April.
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