Colorado announced a new program offering unemployed Coloradans a financial incentive if they return to work full time that could go into effect as soon as Sunday.
Under the Colorado Jumpstart Incentive program, unemployed individuals are eligible to receive an incentive of up to $1,600 to support the transition into full-time work, the announcement said.
To be eligible for the incentive, individuals must have received at least one week of unemployment benefits of $25 or more between March 28, 2021, and May 16, 2021, and have verified their identities via ID.me.
Other states are ending involvement in the added $300 weekly federal unemployment aid as a way to encourage a return to work.
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The program aims to get people who are currently still unemployed back to work, but some people will not be eligible even if they are still collecting unemployment. The program was created through an executive order announced Wednesday by Gov. Jared Polis.
Gig workers who receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits, people on workshare programs, and people who have moved out of state but are still collecting Colorado unemployment will not be eligible to apply for the incentive.
A full list of eligibility requirements is available here: ColoradoUI.gov
Eligible claimants who return to work full time in May will receive $1,600. Those who return to work full time in June will receive an incentive of $1,200. To receive the full incentive, workers must maintain full-time employment for at least eight weeks after finding a job.
The Governor's Office said the incentive payments are expected to be issued during July and August of 2021 and will be distributed in two installments. Claimants will become eligible for the first half of the incentive after approximately four weeks of full-time employment and will become eligible for the remaining half after approximately eight weeks.
Claimants currently receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits, workshare claimants, and out-of-state claimants are not eligible for the incentive program.
According to a fact sheet from the department, the process will work as such: A Coloradan would get hired for a full-time job. They would log in to their MyUI+ account and answer yes to the question asking if they have returned to work full time.
If the person answers “yes” to that question, they will be asked if they want to participate in the program. Another “yes” answer would take the person to another screen, where they will have to provide information about their new job and wages.
The CDLE says after that, the first half of the incentive money would be paid approximately four weeks later, with the second half coming another four weeks after that if the person remains employed.
The CDLE’s website says it is working to implement the program within MyUI+ and that people should be able to start opting in on Sunday. It also says that if a person reopens their unemployment claim within eight weeks of opting in, they will forfeit any yet-unpaid incentive payments. People will not be able to appeal a disqualification.