Woman seeks to gain benefits after spending 11 days on hold with unemployment reps

In May, Lisa Craig, a Colorado resident, was laid off and she is still unable to receive unemployment benefits. She said the state owes her.

“I can’t even imagine a reason that this should be happening,” Craig said. “Every week nothing happens. And then every week less money is in the bank to pay your bills.”

It’s not just her. Stories of people like Craig, who were placed in limbo by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment following the implementation of a new fraud detection system, have been reported by 9NEWS for months.

Despite spending so many hours on hold, Craig said that she had only had about five conversations with CDLE customer service representatives. She said to have been informed that three years prior, someone had falsely made a claim using her account.

She said that she is currently on a “program integrity hold” and is unsure of how to get off it.

“It is absolutely ridiculous,” she said. “At this point it feels like I’ve been doing this a lifetime.” 

The director of Colorado’s Division of Unemployment Insurance said the agency is investigating Craig’s case.

“Our commitment to address this issue is seeing improvement,” Philip Spesshardt said. “From April through October, there’s roughly 150 low-risk, active claims that have taken longer than four weeks to investigate.” 

It’s unclear if Craig’s case falls under the category of active, low-risk claims that Spesshardt mentioned.

“We anticipate most PI issues to be cleared within a week of claimants contacting us unless there are risk factors that require additional investigation,” he said. 

“These recent adjustments have rebalanced and stabilized the system to work as originally anticipated, allowing us to stop identity theft claims in their tracks while trying to minimize the impact to innocent victims of identity theft.” 

Craig, however, says that in order to pay her monthly expenses, she had to access her retirement funds as she had exhausted her savings.

“I just don’t know what else to do anymore,” she said. “Enough is enough.”

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