Colorado Unemployment Benefits
Through the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, the Colorado Department Of Labor and Employment (CDLE) offers temporary monetary assistance to people 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.
Eligibility To Apply for UI Benefits in Colorado
To receive unemployment benefits in Colorado, an applicant must meet monetary, job separation, and other eligibility requirements.
To qualify for unemployment benefits in Colorado, an applicant 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.
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 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.
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
- 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
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 cdle.colorado.gov 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.
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.
UI Benefits Amount
Colorado weekly benefits range from $25 to $618. The payments are approximately 55% of an applicant’s average weekly wage over a period of 12-month.
Use the benefits calculator to determine the estimated weekly unemployment benefit amount.
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 fraud or knowing misrepresentation, he or she may be charged a penalty for receiving overpayments. Under CRS 18-4-401, the penalty for Unemployment Insurance fraud depends on the extent of the fraudulent and payments unlawfully received.
Normally, the state provides benefits for up to 26 weeks. However, under certain circumstances, it might announce extended benefits.
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:
- Educational Programs
- Trade Adjustment Act (TAA)
- Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA)
- Unemployment Insurance (UI) Approved Training Programs
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