Colorado Unemployment Application
CALL: 1-800-388-5515 or 303-318-9000
UI Tax Inquiries: 303-318-9100 or 1-800-480-8299
Applying for Colorado unemployment benefits
If you’re ready to apply for Colorado unemployment insurance benefits, one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself is to become familiar with exactly what you need and the steps you should take to submit your UI benefit application. While there’s a lot to keep track of and it’s important to submit only the most accurate information, the application process is actually quite simple and smooth if you collect your documentation in advance and know what to expect. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about setting yourself up for success when it comes to applying for UI benefits.
How to apply for Colorado unemployment benefits
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment encourages claimants to submit their initial benefits application through the MyUI+ portal, which is the state’s platform for all things related to Colorado UI benefits. The typical processing time for an unemployment claim is four to six weeks. Claimants who qualify for Colorado unemployment benefits are then paid every two weeks moving forward. As you apply, here are a few important facts to keep in mind about the benefit process:
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment will send you a Personal Identification Number, which must be used to access any of your unemployment benefits information. Once you receive this number, you may register with the MyUI+ portal and access all of your benefit information in that one place. Make sure you keep this number in a safe location and do not share it with anyone – even if your PIN is used without your knowledge by someone else, you may be held responsible.
The state of Colorado encourages all unemployment insurance applicants to submit their initial benefit claims through the MyUI+ portal. Once your account is set up, you can continue using the portal to check the status of your claim, change your payment method and submit each Colorado unemployment benefits weekly claim.
If you experience difficulties with the portal at any time, you may reach out to the state of Colorado’s conversion call center at 303-536-5315. You also may access customer support by calling 303-318-9000 or 800-388-5515.
By calling the Colorado unemployment phone number, you can also access representatives who can help you with your claim, and you can report integrity issues related to your account. For example, if you find that the MyUI+ portal shows an existing benefit claim for you that you did not file, it’s possible that you have been the victim of unemployment fraud and identity theft. If this happens, you should notify the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment immediately.
If internet and telephone access are not available to you, you can also visit any of the Colorado unemployment office locations to get help with filing your benefit claim and accessing work search resources.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is committed to reducing identity theft and unemployment fraud wherever possible. In order to verify that each unemployment claimant is exactly who they say they are, the state of Colorado has partnered with ID.me, a federally certified identity provider that specializes in digital identity protection. All claimants for Colorado UI benefits now are required to verify their identity through the ID.me platform.
Information to have ready when applying
Before you even start your application, make sure you have all the documentation you need to make a successful claim. Start with your employment information – gather your pay stubs, the names and mailing addresses of your former employers, your rate of pay, and the dates you were employed during your base period. You must provide all of this information as part of your claim.
You will also be asked about your reason for separation – it’s essential for Colorado eligibility requirements that you have lost employment through no fault of your own.
You’ll need a few other important pieces of information as well, which are outlined below:
- Either your Social Security number, if you’re a U.S. citizen, or your Alien Registration number and your Work Authorization number if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Your date of birth
- Your contact information: this includes your physical address, your mailing address, a valid email address, and the best telephone number to reach you
- Your employment history for the last 18 months – including all contact information for any previous employer, dates of employment, and rates of pay
- Your most recent tax documentation
- Your DD 214 Form if you are a separated member of the U.S. military
- Your SF-8 or SF-50 form if you are a former government employee
- The name and contact information for any labor union you are a member of
- Tax forms such as your 1040, 1065, 1120 or 1120A if you were a self-employed or gig worker
- Routing and account numbers for setting up direct deposit if that’s your chosen mode of payment
When you file your initial claim, you’ll have the option to set up payments either as direct deposit or to receive them in the form of a prepaid debit card. All Colorado unemployment recipients by default will receive a prepaid debit card from U.S. Bank. With this card, you can make purchases, get cash, and pay bills everywhere Visa® debit is accepted.
Or you may choose to have your benefits deposited directly into your checking or savings account. To do so, select Set Up Direct Deposit after logging into your MyUI+ account. You will need your Social Security number and your assigned unemployment insurance PIN to make this change. It’s also a good idea to have a bank check handy. Enter your bank routing number and checking account number exactly as they appear on your check.
Please note that once your initial application for unemployment insurance benefits is approved, your first eligible week of benefits is considered a waiting week, which means you will not receive payment during that week. Instead, your first benefit payment will be postponed by one week. However, remember that you must file your weekly benefit claim and request payment every two weeks – even while you are waiting for your initial claim to be processed.
If you file a Colorado unemployment appeal regarding your claim, you should continue to file your weekly benefit claims while you await a determination about your appeal.
It’s also important to remember that your unemployment benefits are taxable by both the
federal and state government. You may elect to have taxes automatically deducted from your unemployment compensation, or you may choose to pay your taxes when you file your yearly tax return. If you’d like an idea of what benefit amount to expect, use our Colorado unemployment calculator as a guide.