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Colorado Unemployment Appeal

When you apply for Colorado Unemployment Benefits, you will receive a Notice of Decision in the mail that will tell you information like your weekly benefits. Unemployment insurance is calculated based on your previous work history and wages. But if you feel like it was calculated incorrectly and that you are due a larger benefit payment, or if your employment unemployment claim was denied entirely, you have the right to file a Colorado Unemployment Appeal.

When to appeal in Colorado

You must submit your appeal within 20 days of the date stamped on the Notice of Decision on your unemployment insurance benefits, and not the date you received it (make note of that, because those days will be different). If the 20th day from that date is on the weekend or a legal holiday, then the next business day may count as the 20th day. However, it is generally a best practice not to wait until the last moment possible, and file your appeal as quickly as you can.

How to file an appeal in Colorado

If you are the appealing party, you can use the MyUI+ portal to file the appeal electronically. Another is to use the written form provided with the Notice of Determination Letter. Make sure you are as clear and detailed as possible regarding why you disagree with the decision. Cite relevant pieces of information and include any additional documentation that would be helpful, such as something in writing from human resources about your termination – for example, if the point of contention is that you did not meet Colorado unemployment eligibility because you were not fired through no fault of your own.

Sign and date your appeal request

You will need to sign and date your appeal request. If you are using the hard copy form provided, you can mail it to:

Unemployment Appeals Section
PO Box 8988
Denver, CO 80201-8988

You can also fax your request to 303-318-9248.

Keep filing your weekly claim during the appeal

Keep in mind that after you file your appeal, you should continue to file a weekly claim every single week using the Colorado state MyUI+ system, along with meeting the requirements such as looking for suitable work and accepting an appropriate job offer. If your claim for UI benefits is approved, you can be awarded back benefits. But if you did not file a claim for those benefits, the benefits may be significantly delayed or even lost entirely.

Hearing packet

After you request a hearing, a packet will be mailed to you with information about the hearing, which will be conducted by phone. You may be asked to furnish further pieces of evidence that corroborate your claim, such as paycheck stubs, payroll information, emails, or other evidence.

You can submit documentation for an appeal hearing online, fax it, or mail it to the address specified on your packet. Keep in mind that you must also provide any other parties who will be at the hearing (such as a former employer) copies of this evidence as well, prior to the hearing.

One important detail to remember is that you must check in to your hearing by 2:00 PM Mountain Time the day before your hearing. You can do this by checking in online, or by calling the Appeals Hearing Registration System (303-823-4943 or 1-800-376-0835). You will need the Hearing Notice or Hearing Packet for the docket ID number. If you do not check in, the hearing will be dismissed or will proceed without you.

What happens during the Colorado appeals hearing?

You must pick up the phone when the hearing officer calls. Otherwise, the hearing will be dismissed or proceed without you. You should give the hearing officer an extra 10-15 minutes because they may be calling other parties for a conference call to participate in the hearing. If after this time you still have not received a call, please call 303-318-9299 to get further instructions.

You can have witnesses called for the hearing, or you may also have them with you during the phone call. Hearings will typically last about one hour, perhaps less, and perhaps more in some instances. Make sure you do not have any scheduling conflicts during this time.

The hearing officer will explain the hearing procedures and listen to all parties and consider their furnished evidence, testimony, and any witness or witnesses they furnish. Shortly after the hearing, they will communicate their decision to you in writing.

Industrial Claim Appeals Office (ICAO)

If you disagree with a hearing officer’s decision, you can continue to appeal by carrying your claim on to the Industrial Claim Appeals Office (ICAO).

Similar to the first appeal on the determination when you filed your Colorado unemployment application, the appeal of the hearing officer’s decision must be submitted within 20 days of the date stamped on their written decision. If you are late, you must explain why and the panel of administrative law judges (ALJ) will review your reason and determine if you can still carry out your appeal.

There is a form you may use online, or you may send in your appeal in the form of a typed or handwritten letter. Include your name (or the claimant’s name), the docket number, the name of the employer or business involved in the appeal (if applicable), and any relevant address updates, so that information about the appeal may be communicated to you promptly. You do not need to make any arguments about your case in this appeal, because you will receive specific instructions on how to compile them.

Notice of Appeal and Opportunity to File Additional Argument

A Notice of Appeal and Opportunity to File Additional Argument will be sent to each party, along with a CD recording of the initial hearing, and a written transcript if requested. There is a fee for the transcript, but it can be waived. You will have 12 days to submit your argument, following the instructions to submit a brief via mail or online. At least two ICAP judges will review your brief and determine a further course of action, such as upholding the decision or arranging for another hearing. Their decision is final and will be communicated in writing.

If you are not happy with this decision, you will have to carry on your appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals within 21 days of the ICAO decision. At this point, you would probably want to find a reputable employment lawyer before appealing in a district court. The appeals process could theoretically wind its way through the Colorado justice system all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court, but that is highly unlikely. In fact, only a small percentage of unemployment compensation even needs to go to the level of being reviewed by an administrative law judge.

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