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Coronavirus In Colorado: State Unemployment Website Sees Thousands Of Claims

DENVER (CBS4) - The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment's unemployment insurance claim process has been bogged down. Potentially hundreds of thousands of people in the restaurant industry lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

CBS4's Jeff Todd interviews Lindsay Wiener. (credit: CBS)

"Not a birthday I'm going to soon forget," said Lindsay Wiener, the Front of Hous Manager and Lead bartender at Blake Street Tavern in Denver. Wiener was laid off Monday night as the city, and later the state, shut down all bars and restaurants for eight weeks.

"I've never been on unemployment. I've never had the need, never been in a situation," said Wiener. "This is heartbreaking for everyone. No one wants to be in this position, on the receiving end that we're being laid off, and on the giving end of having to lay someone off."

(credit: CBS)

Tuesday, CDLE said it had processed 6,800 claims. To illustrate the drastic increase since the COVID-19 pandemic, the state said there were only 400 claims as of March 7.

"I went on about six o'clock yesterday and couldn't even get through," Wiener said about the claim site. "I kept trying to reload repeatedly. I got a server error a couple times. It just stalled, for a very extended amount of time. I just couldn't get through."

She says she's not alone.

"I personally haven't spoken with anyone who has successfully applied for and completed the application process for unemployment," Wiener said. "The website for unemployment isn't even up and running? Where does that leave people? It's really, really unfortunate."

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The state issued guidance saying, if you are laid off due to business closures related to COVID-19, you can receive unemployment benefits, provided you meet all other eligibility requirements.

File a claim online at Indicate you expect to return to work and are job-attached to your last employer.

RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado

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