Watch: Colorado Department of Labor update on unemployment

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DENVER (KDVR) — There are lots of questions coming in from FOX31 viewers regarding unemployment checks, including many people who say they simply have not been getting them.

These concerns and others were addressed during the same call Thursday when the Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced it was adding one more step to the process people will need to take before their checks can be sent out.

Marisa Gonzales, a single unemployed mother of three from Denver, said smiling is harder these days and she’s been through hell trying to figure out when she’ll get her next unemployment check from the state.

“It’s also scary because like, I’m depending on this money to pay my bills and to support my kids and not knowing when it will come. It’s really scary,” she said.

Gonzales told the Problem Solvers that she’s spent countless hours trying to get an answer from CDLE.

So has Irie Bockus, a single mother who filed for unemployment seven weeks ago.

“I’ve been on the phone for hours,” said Bockus.

She needs the money to help support her daughter.

But still, no check.

“I don’t know what the hang up is now. It’s all very frustrating and nobody seems to have any answers,” she said.

On Thursday, CDLE said it was beginning to roll out Phase 2 of its unemployment payments for people who have already used all their funds in Phase 1.

CDLE also announced it would require new filers to go through a new verification process called ID.me, all in an effort to prevent fraud.

“We know that this is an extra step, but it will definitely help us to reduce fraud in the system as it will require new applicants to certify their identity,” said Joe Barela, CDLE executive director.

Both Gonzales and Bockus told the Problem Solvers they have spent hours filling all the required paperwork.

They wonder how the state can move forward with a process they say is terribly broken, leaving them and so many others behind.

CDLE says benefits for Phase 2 will begin rolling out this Saturday.

The state says nearly 290,000 people have gotten emails with instructions explaining what to do next.

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