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Colorado Unemployment Benefit Questions

Colorado Unemployment Benefit Questions

How to qualify for unemployment in Colorado?

Colorado unemployment eligibility requirements include the following:

  • Before losing employment, you were an employee of an organization that deducted income tax from your paychecks and reported your income on a W-2 tax form.
  • You earned a minimum of $2,500 in wages within the state of Colorado through an 18-month timeframe. Please note that if you worked outside of Colorado during the considered timeframe, you will need to apply for unemployment insurance benefits with the state in which you worked.
  • You must be currently either completely unemployed or working fewer than 32 hours per week and earning less income than the weekly amount that unemployment insurance benefits would pay.
  • You must be able and available to accept suitable work when it is offered to you.
  • You must be actively searching for suitable work.

Eligibility for Colorado unemployment benefits is not a one-time decision or process. For each week you claim your weekly benefit amount, you will be required to submit a weekly claim showing that you remain in compliance with all eligibility requirements listed above.

How much is unemployment in Colorado?

The specific amount of your unemployment benefits will depend on the wages you earned while working. As a general rule, Colorado unemployment insurance benefits are designed to replace roughly 55 percent of a worker’s average weekly income throughout a 12-month time period. In Colorado, the maximum weekly benefit amount is $742. Keep in mind that if you are working part-time while also collecting unemployment benefits, your weekly benefit amount will be reduced to offset your part-time earnings.

If you’re curious about what your expected weekly benefit amount may be, you can use our Colorado unemployment calculator to get a reasonable estimate.

How to apply for unemployment in Colorado?

If you’re wondering how to apply for Colorado unemployment insurance benefits, the quickest and best way is to apply online. You will be required to set up a MyUI+ account, which you can continue to access in order to submit weekly claims, check the status of your claim, change your direct deposit information, and more. Using this platform also provides claimants the ability to access their unemployment insurance information using a mobile device. Once you’ve established your account, you will simply follow the prompts to submit your application.

Before you start your claim, it’s a good idea to collect all your pertinent information so you’ll be able to move through the application quickly. You’ll need information like pay stubs, full contact information for your previous employer, dates that you worked, and your historical rates of pay. Having this all organized and in front of you as you start the application process will save time, energy, and potential frustration.

If a computer is not available to you, or if you have any trouble with the MyUI+ site, you can call the customer support center at 303-318-9000 or toll-free at 800-388-5515 to file your claim.

Are Colorado unemployment benefits taxable?

Yes. In Colorado, unemployment insurance benefits are classified as taxable income at both the state and federal levels. You have the choice of asking for income taxes to be taken out of your benefits before you receive your weekly payment, or paying your taxes separately when you file your yearly tax return. If you change your mind about how you’d like to handle your taxes, the state of Colorado will allow you to adjust your tax option once per each open unemployment insurance claim. After the one-time change, no adjustments to your tax withholdings will be allowed.

What are Colorado UI work search requirements?

Colorado work search requirements stipulate that you must actively search for new employment throughout the time you receive unemployment insurance benefits. Specifically, that includes activities like applying for jobs, reaching out to potential employers, and participating in job interviews for positions. To be considered a valid work search activity, your actions should reasonably be expected to lead to new employment, and the state recommends participating in a wide variety of activities wherever possible. The state of Colorado recommends that you complete at least five work search activities during each week you collect unemployment benefits.

It’s important to accurately document your work search activities – you’ll need to report them during your weekly certification. The state of Colorado reserves the right to audit your work search log for up to two years to verify that the activities you reported actually took place. The state also reserves the right to determine whether a work search activity you report is valid. Colorado uses criteria such as rate of pay, prior experience, and length of unemployment to determine whether a particular job is deemed suitable work. It’s important to make sure that the activities you’re participating in are focused on jobs you are qualified for and would be willing to accept if they were offered to you.

What do I do when I have found a new job?

When you file a claim, it is active for a period of one year beginning on the file date. You can use the benefits that you are entitled to any time you are unemployed during that year. When you return to work, stop filing for payment; this will close your claim. Your claim can be reopened at any time during the one-year life of your claim if you again become unemployed.

How do I cancel my claim?

If you wish to cancel your claim, you must write and mail a letter or call customer service within the first 12 days after filing your claim. Canceling your claim will completely remove the claim from the system as if you had never filed. After canceling your claim you cannot reopen the claim; you must file a new claim.

What happens if I move out of Colorado?

If you are currently receiving benefits Colorado and you move to another, you still receive benefits from your original state. You receive benefits from the state in which you worked for the past 18 months. All you have to do is provide your new address to your “original” state of residence and CDLE (Colorado Department of Labor and Employment) will mark you as an interstate payee. You then continue to file your weekly certification as normal. You will receive the exact same amount of benefits, it does not change. You are required to seek employment in the new state you moved to.

  1. Appreciate the reply Michelle.

    In Florida there is no state income tax for employees but yes they probably did.

    They are in every state and have employees in every state.

    Is that $2500 W2 earnings for an employee in Colorado a possible way to get Colorado? My last three checks would add to 20k and severance separately would be 36k which would be taxed in Colorado as my last checks

    • If you apply in Colorado, you’ll need to show at least $2,500 in earnings during the standard base period, which is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the start date of your claim. It sounds like your income would meet that threshold, so if you have documentation that UI taxes were paid on your behalf in Colorado, you may be eligible. Ultimately, you may want to connect directly with someone in the Colorado unemployment office to discuss the specifics of your situation.

  2. I was just told I would be laid off in three weeks and I will receive severance. I have worked remotely since 2014 but my home state was Florida. I am planning on moving to Colorado this week.

    If my pay is over 2500 on a W2 paycheck can I apply for Colorado unemployment benefits after the severance payout? My employer said they will not fight a claim because they are laying me off. They are a company that is in every US state most employees work remotely.

    • Hi, Sarah – you’ll need to file for UI benefits in the state where unemployment tax was deposited on your behalf. In most cases, people who work remotely are taxed in the state where they live, so you may need to file for Florida benefits. You may be able to look at your most recent pay stub to see where unemployment tax was paid, or you should be able to speak with someone in HR with your current company to find out for sure. But if you haven’t had UI taxes paid on your behalf in Colorado, you won’t be able to file for benefits in that state.

  3. My license had to be renewed. Can I use my temporary license for any information needed while filling out the paperwork?

  4. My benefits have expired. Am I able to file for an extension of benefits? I cannot find answers or a link to apply anywhere…

  5. I was working in Arizona for a large Insurance Company and due to Covid my husband had to take a job in Colorado. My place of employment stated they could not transfer me to there Colorado location due to length of time it would take to move my Insurance License from AZ to CO because of Covid. So they said I had to quit. Can I file for UI in Colorado or do I file in Arizona?

  6. I am Moving oversees to a US territory. As I seek work and meet my work search criteria will I still be eligible to claim until I find a job?

  7. I tried to start a new claim, but never filed or completed it. Then I returned to work anyway. Now I am laid off again and would like to start over and start a new claim. The systems keeps kicking me back to the unfinished claim I started which is all incorrect now. Can I cancel the existing unfinished claim and start again with a new claim?
    Thank you, Jerry

  8. I am currently in Colorado i am on the extended pandemic benefits i will be moving in a couple days to Arizona, are my benefits transferable? Can i still claim? I have tried calling several times and i dont know what i am supposed to do.

    • The answer from “Jeff” below is incorrect. The article above CLEARLY states that you do not transfer your benefits. The benefits you’ve earned while living and working in colorado are tied to the the work you performed as a resident of colorado.

  9. If I can return to work in March, would all of February be eligible for UI benefits even though the last week of February’s benefits would be paid in March? Thanks for answering this quesstion.

  10. I was working for Robert Half Staffing Agency and received a contract with Fastly, Inc through them. I worked for two months when they let go some contractors. I was among them. No warning. No severance. Since I was actually “employed” through Robert Half, can I apply for unemployment?

    • Matthew,

      Please check with your employer if they paid Unemployment Taxes into the system. If they did, you should be able to claim.

  11. On 3/19/19 my manager and I were attacked by a guest at the hotel i work at and harassed. I feared for my life as well did my manager. Would I be eligible for unemployment if i quit here while looking for another job? I do not feel safe coming to work.

    • Brianna,

      You can be eligible to resign under these circumstances and claim UI. To be doubly sure, please contact the Unemployment Office in your state before making a decision.

  12. If you work for a temporary agency and your contract ends, can you file for unemployment even though you’re still employed by the temp agency? Have been unable to be placed since end of January.

    • Noelia,

      Temporary and contract jobs do not qualify since employers’ don’t remit Unemployment Taxes into the system. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

      • This is not true! Do not believe this to be true! I was working for a temp agency and I receive unemployment benefits! I worked there for a year and a half though.

  13. We are losing Colorado Springs jobs as they are moving to a different country. If I file for my early Social Security will I still be able to collect my unemployment so I will have both?

    • My social security starts 2/19. Want to know if I can collect unemployment benefits due to my not being hired, my feeling is it’s due to my age(62). I’m also dealing with cancer and unable to do most jobs, getting cancer treatments every day. Currently have medicaid

      • Kenneth,

        UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please contact the Unemployment Office to determine eligibility.

  14. What type of income received during period when someone is receiving unemployment benefit impact those (unemployment) benefits ?

  15. My question is I get job attached unemployment every summer when laid off but, on the 27th of March I fell on my knee at work and was sent to a workman’s comp Dr. x-rayed and prescribed physical therapy till April 10th when I was released . I did not miss any work just was changed to a different position. Will I be able to still get unemployment?

    • Shirley,

      I am not sure if you qualify under such circumstances. Just to be doubly sure, please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  16. I am currently finding myself in a situation where I may have to quit do to medical reasons. I have asthma and they are currently doing construction/renovation at work. It is making me sick to where I cannot be in the building. Would I qualify for unemployment?

    • Nicole,

      You might be just eligible due to the “working” conditions. Please call the Claims Center for a detailed discussion before you make a decision.

  17. My employer was recently bought out by a big corp. They are to required to work 50 hrs a week where as I was to work 45 before. They adjusted my annual pay to where i make the same, annually but working 5 hrs more a week for the same pay. IF this is leagal, and i choose not to work for them under this new condition and i quit, can i collect unemployment? I have been with the old company 11 yrs.

    • Donna,

      I am not sure if this is legally valid or not. Please consult the Labor authorities or the Unemployment Office before making a decision on your job.

  18. I collect social security and have been working a long term temp job. The company was sold and I aS required to sign up for their temp agencies. Now I am being let go since they are eliminating my position. Can I collect unemployment

    • Patricia,

      Temp employment does not qualify since employers’ generally don’t pay unemployment taxes. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  19. I was starting the process of applying for unemployment. My severance expires next month. Is there a way to upload my current resume into the Unemployment application website instead of creating another. The company I worked for has a job placement company that helps us.

    • Susan,

      Please explore the options available when you log into your account online. Alternatively, please call the Claims Center for instructions.

  20. do i have to report my 401k payout if i get it in the middle of drawing uneployment? Why if so, and how many weeks will i lose

    • Gary,

      Please report it to the office. The authorities will advise you further on the impact of declaring the payout. You can call the claims center, to begin with.

  21. I was laid off in Colorado and received 12 weeks of Severance Pay, will I be eligible for unemployment right away or do I need to wait until 12 weeks has past.

  22. I have been terminated from civil service and at the same time found eligible by VA for unemployability. Can I still proceed with my unemployment claim?

  23. I was terminated because my lack of detail led to errors in my work. My employer assured me they would not deny my unemployment but they have been dishonest with the Umemployment Inusrance case worker and said I couldn’t keep up with my work and that I was unable to take on anything else………I am concerned about the claim getting paid. Anyone have experience with all the additional questions and whether the claim will go through or not?

    • Kelli,

      If they deny on the basis of employer feedback, you can file an “Appeal” for scrutiny. Please make sure to keep supporting documents handy to prove your stand.

  24. I was an employee with salary plus benefits and they came to me and took away my salary and all benefits and said that I was no longer an employee. They wanted me to sign a contract to make me a contractor and just pay me commission but I couldn’t do that and I am currently looking for another job.
    Would I be able to receive unemployment at this time until I could find another job?

    • Well, it may be considered voluntary making you ineligible to draw UI benefits. However, there can be an exception. Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  25. The company I work for was sold. if I decide to start with the new company does my unemployment eligibility start over here in Colorado. What I don’t want to do is work for the new company and 2 weeks later get laid off and not be able to collect benefits.

    • You can apply right away if you were laid off. You can be eligible as long as the reason for separation from the job is involuntary.

    • I just resigned from my job due to health reasons and I received unemployment. I explained to them that the work environment made my health and my condition worse and ultimately caused me to resign.

      • If the work conditions affected your health directly, you can be eligible.

        Please speak to the Unemployment Office in your state.

  26. Im currently employed with Waste Management in Colorado whom will be closing the office on Feb 21, 2014 which means I will be laid off. When can I file for unemployment benefits? thanks, Robert Kurtz

  27. I am employed, but my employer cut my hours to the point that I can no longer pay my bills. Does Colorado offer partial unemployment? And if so, how do I apply for it?

  28. If you get laid off from your job when fileing for benefits do I have to claim my monthly pension from a previous pera employment?

  29. I am currently receiving food stamp benefits and others but I was recently asked for a print out or proof of my benefits for the month of March. How can i go about on retrieving this info? I have tried calling the customer help line but all i get there is an automated help list. Please help me this info is needed as soon as possible so my other benefits are not stopped. Sincerely

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