DENVER — Negotiations for a new federal stimulus package remain underway, but Colorado officials are taking some action now, with Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday announcing a one-time $375 payment to about 435,000 Coloradans impacted financially by the pandemic.
Polis in a news release said the payments will be distributed in early December to "qualifying individuals ... whose lives and jobs have been hurt due to the COVID-19 pandemic."
Polis signed an executive order Wednesday, directing the Colorado Department of Labor Employment (CDLE) to make the payments.
The CDLE estimates those who receive the stimulus payment will include around 435,000 Coloradans making less than $52,000 per year and reach about 65% of all the people who filed for unemployment benefits since March 15.
The specific qualifications, per Polis' order, include:
• Anyone who has received at least one dollar of unemployment insurance compensation from March 15 to Oct. 24.
• Anyone who was monetarily eligible for a weekly benefit between $25-$500 from March 15 to Oct. 24.
Unemployment insurance includes state unemployment, federal unemployment for ex-service members, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Extended Benefits (EB), Short-Time Compensation (STC), Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) and payments under the Self-Employment Assistant (SEA) program.
Since mid-March, a total of 581,334 regular unemployment initial claims have been filed and a grand total of 751,602 claims, including federal PUA benefits, according to the CDLE.
“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," Polis said.
People eligible to receive the payment do not need to take action, according to the state. The CDLE will directly contact anyone who is eligible for the one-time payment.
Claimants will receive the payment through ReliaCard or their bank account. Claimants are encouraged to log in to their benefits account to make sure their address is up to date.
In order to allocate funds for the payments, Polis directed a transfer of about $5.3 million from the state's controlled maintenance fund to the disaster emergency fun and a $148.9 million transfer from the state's general fund to the emergency fund.