Max. Weekly Benefit Amount
Max. Weeks of Benefits
Current Jobless Rate
Max Weekly Benefit Amount
Max Weeks of benefits
Current Jobless rate

Updated : September 15th, 2023

Colorado Unemployment Benefits

Colorado Unemployment Benefits

Through the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, the Colorado Department Of Labor and Employment (CDLE) offers temporary monetary assistance to unemployed workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own. Read through the page to know more about the eligibility requirements, documents required, the application process, and many other related information.

UI Benefit Amount in Colorado

The following Unemployment Benefits Calculator will help you determine the approximate unemployment compensation that you can receive in Colorado.

UI Benefits Calculator
Calculate Your Colorado Unemployment Benefits

Try our Colorado unemployment calculator to estimate your weekly benefits.

Colorado Unemployment Calculator


Eligibility To Apply for UI Benefits in Colorado

To receive unemployment benefits in Colorado, all unemployment claims must meet monetary, job separation, and other eligibility requirements.

Monetary Eligibility

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Colorado, a worker must earn a minimum of $2,500 during his or her base period. If the applicant fails to earn the minimum amount in the base period, the Department may consider earnings in the alternate base period.

Base Period – In Colorado, the base period is the first four of the five complete calendar quarters before the unemployment claim’s start date.

Alternate Base Period – It is the last four completed calendar quarters before the start date of the unemployment claim.

Note – The applicant must follow the instructions on the Statement of Wages and Possible Benefits to request an alternative base period. The Statement of Wages and Possible Benefits form shows how much the applicant earned and how much benefits he or she can collect.

Find out more about eligibility requirements

Job Separation

Another critical eligibility requirement is the reason for separation from the previous employer. An applicant can qualify for the Colorado unemployment benefits only if he or she lost employment due to any following reasons.

  • The applicant has lost the job through no fault of his or her own
  • The applicant quit the job due to the domestic violence
  • The applicant quit the job due to the harassment by the employer or the employer’s inability to stop harassment by a coworker
  • The applicant quit the job due to the hazardous working conditions
  • The applicant has a medical condition and is not able to work

Note – The Department Of Labor and Employment may contact the Colorado employer to determine the actual reason for job separation. Therefore, the applicant must make sure to keep the Department informed of the actual reason, failing to which you will not qualify for benefits.

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

In addition to meeting eligibility requirements while submitting the application, the applicant should maintain them throughout the benefits. Some of the ways in which the applicant can maintain eligibility include:

  • Be willing to accept suitable work
  • Be available to start work immediately
  • Be physically and mentally able to work
  • Request weekly payments biweekly
  • Report all worked hours and gross wages earned each time while requesting payment
  • Work search requirements: You must actively seek work and document work-search activities. (The Department recommends to complete at least 5 work-search activities per week)
  • Register with a workforce center online or in person at the local workforce center

Find out on job search requirements

How To Apply For UI Benefits in Colorado?

To apply for Colorado unemployment benefits, the applicant needs the following documents:

The applicant can apply for Colorado unemployment benefits using any of the following methods:


Applicants can apply for a claim online through the MyUI+. Applicants with last names starting with the letters A through M must file online on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, or afternoons on Saturdays. Applicants with last names beginning with N through Z must file on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, or before noon on Saturdays.
Note that the online system will sometimes be taken down for maintenance between 6-8 P.M. If the system maintenance message pop-up at any other time of day, the applicant must clear the browser history and refresh the page.


Applicants can also file a claim by calling 303-318-9000 for applicants in the Denver metro area and toll-free 1-888-550-2800 for the rest of the state.
Note – The applicant can contact the Department’s Virtual Assistant by phone and online at to clear doubts regarding the claim. If the Virtual Assistant is unable to answer the question, the applicant can schedule a callback with the Department’s customer service representatives.

Learn how to apply for Colorado unemployment benefits

How To File Weekly Claims

Applicants must file a weekly claim (weekly certification) to continue to receive the unemployment benefits. Applicants can request payment every week online or by phone. Delay in filing weekly certification can result in loss of unemployment benefits for that week.

Learn how to file a weekly claim

Things to Know After Filing An Application

There are several aspects that an applicant must know to get through the benefits period without any hassle.

Overpayment And Fraud

If an applicant receives an overpayment through no fault of his or her own, he or she will be required to repay the overpaid unemployment benefits. Overpayments can occur due to various reasons, including an administrative error, a hearing officer reversing a previous award, or the applicant was later disqualified because he or she was found to be responsible for losing the job.
An applicant can repay the overpayments using the online MyUI system or through the mail. If the applicant is unable to pay back overpayments, he or she can contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance to determine a repayment agreement.

Fraud/ Willful Misrepresentation

If an applicant receives overpayments due to a fraudulent unemployment claim or knowing misrepresentation, he or she may trigger a fraud alert and be charged a penalty for receiving overpayments. Under CRS 18-4-401, the penalty for Colorado unemployment fraud depends on the extent of the fraudulent and payments unlawfully received. Another form of fraud is when a criminal files for UI benefits using someone else’s information. Be aware of scams online to avoid being a victim of identity theft. 

Benefits Extension

Normally, the state provides regular unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. However, under Colorado law, it might announce Colorado extended benefits under certain circumstances. For example, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) became available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Job Training Assistance

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment collaborates with the local Workforce Centers to offer educational opportunities and free or supplemental support training to the job seekers. Some of the training programs offered include:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Educational Programs
  • Trade Adjustment Act (TAA)
  • Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA)
  • Unemployment Insurance (UI) Approved Training Programs
  • Connecting Colorado

Also, Colorado Workforce Centers provide various free services to job seekers. They include:

  • Career counseling and training
  • Computer, phone, internet, fax, and copier access
  • Training, classes, resources for veterans, youth, and other groups
  • Workshops to help with creating/ updating resumes, the application process, interview preparation, computer literacy, and labor market information
  • Information on veterans program services
  • Virtual and in-person job fairs

Know more job training opportunities in CO

Colorado unemployment contact information

If you have questions about your claim for Colorado unemployment benefits, or require assistance with filing, call the unemployment claims center.

If you are looking for help with finding a new job, including resume writing help and training programs, visit your local Colorado Workforce Center.

More Colorado Benefits

Employment Assistance

Employment Assistance programs are primarily geared toward those collecting unemployment benefits so that they can get the education, job training, or vocational rehabilitation to reenter the workforce and secure long term gainful employment.

There are several employment assistance programs available:

  • Colorado Employment First helps SNAP benefit recipients with skills training and job search support. There is also a specific senior division for older applicants seeking employment.
  • ReHire Colorado connects employers and employees through a combination of wage-paying work and on-the-job training or apprenticeship.
  • The Colorado Refugee Services Program assists refugees in stabilizing and integrating into the workforce and their community.
  • The Colorado Works Subsidized Training and Employment Program (CW STEP) helps individuals receiving TANF (called Colorado Works in the state) and/or at-risk populations.

Food Assistance

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) can help Colorado residents and their households with food assistance in the form of several programs, some of which are state-specific, and others of which are federally funded, although managed by the CDHS.

SNAP Benefits (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), commonly known as food stamps throughout the United States, is one such program. Participants learn from SNAP-Ed about making better dietary choices on a budget and increasing physical activity to stay healthy.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is for children that attend a school providing food for low-income students, when and if that school switched to a remote or hybrid learning model. As well, Food Distribution Programs work directly with communities to distribute food and meals.

Energy Assistance

The Colorado Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is administered by CDHS to help low income Colorado residents stay warm during the winter and keep the lights on. The LEAP program helps seniors, families, and individuals by paying a portion of their energy bill during the months from November through April when the average state low temperature can plunge to 16 degrees Fahrenheit.

Households with income of up to 60% of the state median income level can apply for LEAP benefits to be paid directly to their energy supplier, alleviating heating costs during these winter months. Other benefits may include the repair or even replacement of in-home heating units.

Cash Assistance

Colorado has several cash assistance programs administered by CDHS, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which in Colorado is known as Colorado Works. Eligible households receive some cash assistance as well as help training, employment guidance, and family stabilization to create long term self-sufficiency.

There are also several Adult Financial Programs that provide cash assistance for specific situations such as the Burial Assistance Program, the Old Age Pension program, and the Home Care Allowance Program. In addition to these programs, there is also cash assistance for disabled and needy individuals and their families to help supplement the cost of care.

Disability Assistance

The Disability Determination Services (DDS) is the state-level program that assists in determining the eligibility of claimants for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). While SSI is a needs-based program, SSDI is meant to help disabled individuals who can longer work, provided their work history has built up a sufficient number of credits to claim this taxpayer-funded insurance.

SSDI applicants must provide sufficient documentation about the nature of their disability, and the application process can become complicated. Individuals applying should consider soliciting the services of a disability lawyer before they apply, because Colorado’s approval rate for SSDI benefits is around 42%.

Frequently Asked Question

Q. What to do if your unemployment claim is denied?
You can file an unemployment appeal if the Department denies your unemployment claim, but you believe you are entitled to receive benefits. Submit an appeal within 20 days of the date you received the Notice of Decision. If the 20th day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, you can file the appeal the next business day. You can file an appeal online or by mail. During the process, make sure you continue to apply for benefits. That is because if you win the appeal, you will receive benefits for the claimed weeks.
Q. Can you get benefits while working part-time?
You can receive partial unemployment benefits if you are working part-time. However, to remain eligible, you must continue to look for work, and you must have earned less than your weekly benefits amount. According to the state, you can earn up to 25% of your weekly benefit. If your earning exceeds, the state will reduce your benefit by one dollar for each dollar earned.
Q. Can you reopen your claim?
Yes, you can reopen your claim if you have lost your job again. To reopen your claim, visit MyUI+ and request payment. Alternatively, you can use Virtual Assistant at, which will tell you when you should request a weekly payment.
Q. Should you opt for Direct Deposit or Prepaid Debit Card?
If you opt for a Prepaid Debit Card, you'll be charged a fee that will be deducted from your benefits. You can avoid the fee by having your benefits deposited directly in your savings or checking account.
Q. How to cancel the claim?
You can cancel your claim by writing or calling customer service within 12 days after filing the claim. Remember, canceling your claim will remove all your filed claims from the system. Also, you cannot reopen but file a new claim whenever required.
Q. Should you stop filing a claim when you find a new job?
Unemployment benefits are only given to those who don't have a job. If you start a new job, you should immediately stop filing claims. You can reopen it anytime during the one-year benefit period.
Q. Will you continue to receive benefits if you go out of the state?
You will continue to receive unemployment benefits if you move out of Colorado. All you have to do is provide the Department with your new address and continue to file weekly claims. The Department will consider you as an interstate payee and continue to roll out your benefits.

Questions & Answers

  1. I am having a hard time finding an answer to this: How long can you wait after separation of employment to file for unemployment in Colorado? Is there a limit?

    • Hi, Shannon – Colorado does not advertise a specific time limit within which you are required to file for benefits. If you believe you’re entitled to unemployment benefits because you have become unemployed through no fault of your own, you can definitely file a UI claim, which will be evaluated according to the full and specific details of your case.

  2. Going over 3 months since I filed my initial claim and still no unemployment benefits. Attempted to call in again and its almost a month waiting list for a call back. How is a person suppose to survive when you have government officials working from home (with no accountability) taking care of kids and pets instead of doing their jobs. This is completely unacceptable, how do they expect us to survive without what is due us. My bill collectors still want their money.

    • Dear LDF,

      Without getting into politics, it’s helpful to understand that these offices, from the Post Office to the IRS to your state unemployment offices, are being bled dry of funds. The argument goes like this: “government doesn’t work, see?” while removing necessary funds to operate.

      A few things you can do: contact your state and/or federal representative (US Congress Member) to explain what is happening to you. They are obligated to at least listen.

      Second, apply for all the other benefits you can:

      Section 8 housing
      Disability (SSI/SSDI)
      Food Stamps
      Obamacare (ACA) subsidies and/or Medicaid

      Third, continue staying in contact with the Colorado Unemployment Office and remember the people working there aren’t against you, they are simply woefully understaffed. I once worked for Social Security Disability and we were constantly behind for the same reason–lack of appropriate funding.



  3. Hi, I’m writing because I don’t know how else to get in touch with you. I’ve called for hours multiple days in a row only to be hung up on by the automated system. I have a claim already active, I received emails about my claim etc., but I am due to request payment on the 28th and I haven’t received my PIN yet. The emails I have received said I’m good to go, but when I try to sign onto MyUI it doesn’t recognize my username OR my email address. I don’t know how that’s even possible seeing as they have sent me emails about my account. I’m terrified that I haven’t been able to get a hold of anyone and MyUI doesn’t seem to recognize me even though my claim is active. I’ve done my part and I’m afraid my claim will be cancelled through no fault of my own. Please help!

    • Alyssa,

      Please try finding answers online since there might be limited phone support due to the shortage of staffing.

      • There are no answers online. I’m having the same problem. The emails I’ve received say everything is fine. I got my pin #, registered with MYUI and when I try to reset my username and password, it doesn’t recognize my Email Id. I’ve requested payment and it says there’s a transaction pending on my account. It’s been 3 business days and I haven’t seen any payment deposited i to my account. What does transaction pending in your account mean? Thanks for your time.

        • Jordan,

          There will an intermittent delay owing to the number of applications. Please be patient and make sure to check the status regularly.

  4. How long after being furloughed can a government worker apply for unemployment? Trying to hold out as long as possible because we may be entitled to back pay.

  5. Worked in CO and I am getting laid off. Using the Rule of 65 I am “retirement eligible”, but had no plans to do so. My employer may identify me, (with or without my consent), as retired in their internal systems. Can I still collect unemployment insurance in CO even if they do this?

    • Donna,

      You should be able to collect, provided you’re able and available for work. Please call the Unemployment Office for details.

  6. I worked two part time positions at schools. One school decided not to renew my employment for next school year. This job was my main source of income. I still have my other part time position. Would I be able to apply for unemployment because they aren’t continuing my “contract” due to me not being a “good fit” for the position anymore?

    • Lee,

      Contract workers do not qualify since employers’ generally do not remit Unemployment Taxes into the system. Please either consult your employer or call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  7. I was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. I was told I will be required for medical testing, chemo therapy, pain medication. I am a field rep for the U<S< Census bureau which requires a lot of driving and personal interviews interviewee homes. I want to know if I am eligible for unemployment in CO?

    • Lynda,

      Hope you get well soon.

      I am not sure if personal reasons such as health are considered. Please call the Unemployment Office to find out more.

  8. I have been working at a company for 3 years. My mother’s health is failing, she has fallen several times and needs some care. I am a salaried employee, our company only gives us 5 days of PTO per year. I requested to be changed to an hourly status so I can care for my mother when necessary and I am only paid for the time I am at work. I would still be working over 35 hours a week. My employer said he was going to ask me to take on additional responsibilities, so he could not accommodate me. The company is growing. He suggested that I find a job that is more flexible for my situation. I feel like he talked me into leaving the company. Would this reason for leaving make me eligible for unemployment benefits?

    • Generally, personal reasons are not considered. Unemployment Insurance benefits are only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to clarify.

  9. I had a minor back surgery on 4/4/17 and I have been trying to return to work, but I am now on a crutch due to complications and I work at a hotel as a ssistant general manager and they are making me jump through hoops to go back to work, first they had the dr fill out a 6 pg packet, that wasn’t good enough, they wanted a return to work note, that wasn’t good enough,they wanted another dr note stating how long I will need a crutch. My manager was telling me I wouldn’t be able to handle an emergency with a crutch. I have not been paid during my time out. Would I qualify for UI benefits? I’m not sure if they are going to let me return to work or not.

    • Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health are not considered. You will not qualify to claim UI benefits.

      Please check further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

    • Yes, you can be eligible to claim under such circumstances. In case of a dispute, you should be ready to prove the “Hostility”.

  10. After ten years my contract at a state university was not renewed (cancelled days before I was set to start). My classes were given to other full and part time staff. As an affliate professor am I entitled to benefits?

    • If your employer paid UI taxes into the system, you can be eligible to claim Unemployment Compensation.

      Please check with your employer and apply accordingly.

  11. My Unemployment Insurance benefits in Colorado saved my life and keep me afloat. I thought that by now I would be able to find employment but that’s not the case. My UI is about to expire, is there a possibility to file for extension?

    • The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  12. I need to leave my job and move out of Colorado because living at this altitude creates too many health issues. My doctor is in concurrence with this. Can I drop unemployment?

  13. My daughter has worked for a pizza company delivering pizzas for 4 years. She is pregnant and needs to take off due to her pregnancy. Is she eligible for unemployment until she is physical able to return to work? She meets the $2500 made within the last quarter. Thank you!

    • Your daughter will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  14. Your Colorado benefits calculator is wrong, Colorado punishes people for not working in a quarter! They do not publish this fact! I got to find out the hard way, they cut me to 13 weeks eligibility even though I had over 60,000 in income because I hadn’t worked in one quarter!!!!!

    • Will,

      The calculator is just an estimate of benefits, not final and binding. Your state decides how much you qualify for based on internal assessment.

  15. I am being cut $2.32 an hour from my job, because of work force alignment. I’m 57 can I collect unemployment for the reduction in pay

  16. I noticed when I went in to claim that there is an appeal received and pending from my employer (University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz). I know my actual boss has no interest in filing for the appeal and it may just be an auto response? Who can he contact regarding the fact he never wanted to fire me and stop the appeal? He is a busy man and does not want to be bothered with a hearing.


    • This question is specific in nature and best answered by the authorities at the labor dept in your state.

      Please call them.

    • Check the Colorado Unemployment website. I was not aware a brief would be required for an appeal. Check the information on appeals that was likely mailed to you with your financial determination. Google is always a good source for research.

  17. I would like to know how do I go about finding out just how much I will be getting when I file for unemployment?

    • Go to the Colorado Unemployment website. Usually there is an explanation and maybe even a table that will give you an idea of what your weekly benefit would be. If you already applied, you should receive this information shortly.

  18. I got injured on the job a month and a half ago. I need to have surgery but workers comp hasn’t approved it yet, meanwhile my 45 days for continuation of pay has expired and Im restricted to 3 hours of work a day. Am I eligible for temporary benifits until OWCP approves the surgery and starts paying me for hours lost?

  19. I reviewed the Statement of Wages & Possible Benefits document. The wages reported by my former employer included social security & medicare wages. Is this correct or should I send in a correction to reflect box 1 of my W-2 which includes wages, tips, other comp.?

    Thank you – E

  20. If I retire from the US Army and must have surgery (mandatory) that will leave me unable to seek employment for 6-8 months; do I qualify for any other type of unemployment instead of the basic claim amount, like short or long term compensation?

  21. I am currently receiving CO STATE UI benefits, which will expire in June (I think). Experation of state UI benefits will occur because I will have reached the 26 week maximum.
    Because I was laid off, and am still unemployed, will I qualify for an extension, or become eligible for Federal UI benefits?
    If “yes”, do I need to do anything to qualify for the Federal UI benefits or will they “automatically” start when the State benefits are exhausted?

  22. I was harrassed until I couldnt handle the abuse anymore of going to work..Waking everyday wondering who im going to fight with today! None of my bosses did anything to the people causing the harrasment…

  23. Hello,
    I am self-employed(S corp) and about to lose a client which accounts for all my income.
    Would I be eligible for unemployment?
    Thank you

  24. If your company moves 30-35 miles away to another city can I still get unemployment if I feel this is too far away or not

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