Colorado Unemployment Eligibility

You have to meet the following requirements in order to qualify for the unemployment insurance benefits in Colorado.

Non Monetary Eligibility

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able, available, and actively seeking work
  • Register with a Workforce Center in Colorado or in the state in which you live in. You can register for work in Colorado here or by visiting your local Workforce Center.
  • Quitting job for a good cause
  • Be willing to accept suitable work
  • Fired from job for “just cause”

Monetary Eligibility

In order to qualify monetarily, you must have earned $2,500 during your base period (the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before the start date of your claim).

If you did not earn at least $2,500 during the standard base period, you may be qualified using an alternate base period (the last four completed calendar quarters before the start date of your claim). Follow the instructions on the Statement of Wages and Possible Benefits to request an alternative base period.

You will obtain a form called Statement of Wages and Possible Benefits that shows how much you earned and how much you may collect in benefits.

Eligibility Questions

Am I eligible to draw benefits if I am fired?

If you are fired in Colorado, you can typically collect unemployment benefits as long as your employer didn’t discharge you for gross misconduct.

Colorado defines gross misconduct as:

  1. negligence,
  2. repeated absences
  3. harm or the willful disregard of the employer’s interests in such a way that demonstrates the employee’s guilt or wrongful intent,
  4. when an employee assaults or threatens to assault his co-workers or superiors

In most cases, you can’t collect unemployment if you were fired for cause, but there are exceptions. The burden of proof is on the employer to show there was cause to fire you. If the employer doesn’t provide it, you might be able to collect. If the employer does show evidence, the CDLE (Colorado Department of Labor and Employment) gives you the option to provide your own proof you were fired for reasons other than just cause or that violate the state labor laws. You might show written communication between the two parties, notarized witness statements and any other relevant information that backs up your claim.

What happens if I get laid off?

Generally, in Colorado you have to have lost your job through no mistake of your own in order to receive unemployment. When you get laid-off, it is not your fault.

Getting laid off does not mean that you were fired or did something wrong. It just means that the company in which you worked did not have suitable work and could no longer afford to pay for your job.

In almost all cases, this means that if you get laid-off, you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

If you get laid-off from your job, you should immediately apply for unemployment benefits.

Can I Collect unemployment if I quit my job?

You have the right to leave a job for any reason at any time, but the circumstances of the separation will determine if and when you will receive benefits.

Colorado workers may be able to get unemployment benefits if they had no choice but to quit. If you quit due to abusediscrimination, were required to perform illegal activities in the course of duty, had to accompany a military spouse stationed elsewhere or could no longer work due to injury or illness, then you may be eligible for unemployment.

Some of the other reasons include:

  • Domestic violence
  • Personal harassment by the employer not related to the job performance
  • Hazardous working conditions
  • medical conditions

How does the Division of Unemployment Insurance determine who is eligible?

The Division of Unemployment Insurance requests information from both the claimant and the employer as to the reasons for the job separation. Those facts are then evaluated according to the requirements as stated in the Colorado Employment Security Act.

More Questions?? —-> Read Eligibility Q & A Section

Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>Calculate your benefits here

  1. I’ve worked for a Christian non profit, part time (30 hours/week), for several years. The organization lawfully discriminates on religious grounds and requires a statement of faith to be signed upon hiring. I signed that statement of faith years ago, but my beliefs have evolved and I am no longer in alignment with the organization.

    If the organization asks me to reaffirm my religious beliefs, as I have reason to think may happen soon, I will decline to do so and tell them that I have left the faith. My understanding is that I would then be fired. If that happens, would I be eligible for unemployment benefits?

  2. Hello, I recently quit a job that my wife and i both worked at. She is still there. After quitting ( i turned in my 2 weeks and almost finished them out but the company was treating me poorly for quitting so i left early. ) Upon turning in my keys and heading out the building the administrator chased me down as i was telling my wife i was heading home and started throwing her hands in my face and talking badly about our children in front of my wife who had nothing to do with the situation. My wife fills that she can no longer work for this company as she fells harassed from the head of the company talking badly about her children. Would this fall under good cause to leave the company as it is Harassment by the employer. Now they also don’t even talk to her since I have left last week.

    1. Jimmy,

      It depends. If the stress is caused due to hostile/dangerous working conditions, you can. Its a tricky situation.

  3. I’m currently working for CDLE and on one year probation. If my employer decided they do not want to keep me on and do not pass probation. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

    1. Amy,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons (E.g: Layoffs). You can still consider applying if you’re asked to leave (hope that is not the case).

  4. On Friday, I requested Monday like vacation day and my supervisor approved it but in the afternoon he cancel my vacation day and he told me if I not report to work on Monday I will be fired. So, I never show up because was approved. so they fire me as not call not show. can I collect unemployment?

  5. I’ve been employed with this company just close to a year i signed a paper stating that i would be 5 star certified in answering the phone in 30 days or i would be terminated well 30 days are over and im currently only 4 star certified will i be able to receive unemployment due to this termination?

    1. Amanda,

      UI benefits are extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Performance issues are generally not considered. Please speak to the Unemployment Office.

  6. I was recently told that my “services were no longer needed”. I had just finished four 12 hour hour night shifts in a row.
    At my job I had completed 3 months of training being on the job for a bit over three and a half months.
    I had hurt my back on the job but seem to have recovered.
    With my training over I was given my own shift and had begun working solo multi day 12 hour shifts.
    Most recently we had discussed my work in written communication. I stated that I had the basics in hand, and that I was beginning to be able to cope with the out of the normal situations. I said that the work was challenging, however I was up for the challenge.
    She said that she agreed with me and had raised my pay to the fully hired rate.
    I was expecting to have a conversation with my manager about how I was doing once our work schedule coincided in 7 days.
    But instead the day after my last shift at the beginning my scheduled time off she left a message on my phone saying that my “services were no longer needed”.
    She said if I wanted to know why she would tell me why. I left her a written note saying yes, I would like to know what I had done or not done that led to my firing.
    But as of this date I have not heard from her.
    I had been given information about how I need to do my work as part of my training but I was never under the impression that I wasn’t doing a good job and progressing. Or that my job was in jeopardy. Especially since I was now working alone, been given a raise, and was told that my manager had faith in me learning the job and improving.
    I am wondering if this situation qualifies as losing my job through “no fault of my own”?

    1. Christopher,

      If you think it was not “your fault”, we suggest you go ahead and apply with confidence. In case of a dispute, you can submit the required proof and fight it out.

  7. Filing for unemployment had a new position but over hired so they let some of us go. I was on a written warning at job I voluntarily left due to the warning. I was told I was hirable when I left by the HR Manager. But when I went to reapply for a different position with the company they gave me the cold shoulder. I wasn’t eligible. I was denied benefits but didn’t got into total explanation of left job and now trying to appeal with more information on why I left. I had no choice or be walked out in front of my peers at end of cycle.
    I was working for a very large company in the Business department which they claim is sales. But is not. This was a very unethical position where your put in a spot taking calls of disgruntled customers, you have daily quotas where if you take your PTO you get penalized for it by no quota relief. So I was unable to fill quota relief when I was stuck in 3 different snow storms was put on an action plan for not meeting quota. But I had no option the main roads were closed down by the law. There was no quota relief for this. Then I had struggled meeting quotas when I was always present by not being able to fulfill the job due to being ethical. This requires a serious navigation of forcing the client to take a new contract of services when there current isn’t expired or near expiring in order to get new services. This was two fold uncomfortable job due to the two extremes. I was put on a final action from missing work from former snow storms to having a move out of a rental in the remaining months on my action plan that was not offered rental passed the lease. I missed more days again PTO and unable to meet quota. I was on my written warning to meet 100% or i would be fired at the end of the cycle. I was just under the cycle by 98% however due to no fault of my own the upgrades and sales are handled by more employee’s past your sale and therefore the sales can go on hold for install etc, client not home etc, or client changes their mind due to something and it takes you from 98% to much less. Leaving the company the option to fire you when you had no control of the fallouts that happen.

    1. Robyn,

      It looks like there was a degree to harassment and hostility at work. Please consider applying for UI benefits if you were separated from the job. In case of a dispute, you can consider filing an “Appeal” with supporting documents.

  8. I have been working for this company since June 2019. I October I reported a work related injury, torn UCL in elbow. This injury take a very long time to heal. It is now January 2020, and my injury has made little to no progress in healing. Workers Comp is paying for all Dr visits. I only have 2 weeks left of light duty. My employer has stated that they are considering letting me go at the end of my light duty on 2 causes. 1, they fear the injury will come back and, 2, if I can’t do my job, they can’t accommodate me so I’m not in a position risking the same injury. This is a repetitive motion injury. If my Dr releases me back to full duty in another week or 2, but my torn UCL is nowhere near healed, workers comp will not pay lost wages in the event I’m fired. I feel I should quit because my employer has set forth unreasonable expectations allowing my arm to heal. It needs rest. My employer has already shown they do not value me or want to make accommodations to reduce the use of my arm at work. So, given this situation, would I be eligible for UI benefits? The emotional stress has reached it peak.

    1. Jon,

      Considering UI benefits are only offered to claimants who’re able and available for work, you might still stand a chance. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  9. Can you apply for unemployment benefits before your last day at work? My husband was notified he will be laid off December 30. Does he have to wait till December 30 to apply or can he apply now so everything is ready by the time he’s actually laid off?

  10. My employer asked me to do a 9-week unscheduled training, out of state, knowing I also attend school full time (night classes), effectively forcing me to choose between them or finishing school. When I told them I had to choose school (my last 6 weeks), and could not do the training, they suspended me and then fired me for cause after claiming I misled them about my work related activities. Does this qualify for UI benefits?

    1. Sam,

      Please note UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons.

      1. Sam, I’m confused by your answer to Sam above (july 17 and 18).

        You said benefits extended to those who lose jobs due to involuntary reasons. If Sam the questioner lost his job and his employer knew about night school how is that not involuntary?

        Sam will lose money paid to the school by leaving mid term, he will have to take the entire 9 week term over to get his degree or certificate. An employer acting responsibly would have either scheduled the out of state training for another employee at this time or, they would have waited until Sam was able schedule a non school period already in progress to go out of town for work training. It’s clear that Sam got screwed, THEN FIRED. How does he NOT get UI benefits?

        1. David,

          Thank you for posting this question. Firstly, determination for UI benefits is purely subjective and differs from case to case. Secondly, this is just an unemployment forum and most of the replies here are only an opinion. Hence, we always recommend visitors to refer the situation back to the Unemployment Office for clarification.

    2. Can you file for unemployment as an at Will employee in a charter school. Contract was written for two years. School decided not to honor the 2nd year.

  11. I gave my employer a written two week notice. My employer was so angry she told me to leave stating that my job was stressing me out. I wasn’t stressed at all I was presented with an opportunity at a different company which I accepted. I was not presented with a paycheck when I was terminated and my employer lied in writing as to what she said to me when she told me to pack up my things. Her email states she asked for my keys and presented me with my benefits option – which was NOT the case. During my employment I was continually left out of lunch meetings and usually found the rest of the office at a team building lunches while I was the only person left at the office – that may be discrimination, but I am not sure. She actually terminated me based on misinterpreted information – so she basically flew off the handle and fired me on the spot after receiving my notice. Can I collect for the two weeks I will not be receiving pay?

    1. Dena,

      I am not sure if you qualify for not receiving a salary for a specific period during your exit. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

      1. I texted my supervisor and told him that I wouldn’t be at work, but had a doctor’s note. He said he did not get the text message. The message is still on my phone, and he received all previous texts that I had sent him in the past. I was fired for no call, no show. Do I qualify for unemployment?

        1. Liam,

          If you were fired due to involuntary reasons, you can claim. Please go ahead and consider applying and keep supporting proof handy (in case of a dispute).

  12. I have ADHD and my current employer has become so stressful I cannot focus. My anxiety is so bad I have stomach cramps all day. I cannot sleep because of my anxiety of the coming day. I cannot work there much longer. Would this be a sufficient reason to qualify for unemployment?

    1. M,

      Hope you get well soon. If the ailment is caused by/related to employment, you might be eligible. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

    2. I turned in my two week notice while on maternity leave and they fired me right after turning in the notice. Making it so i wont recive a final paycheck. Could i file for unemployment?


    1. Tara,

      If you were let go due to involuntary reasons such as layoffs, please consider applying for UI benefits until you find a job.

    2. My husband was fired last week because the company wanted to move in another direction. Is he eligible for unemployment?

      1. Cassie,

        If your husband was asked to leave due to involuntary reasons such as ‘layoffs’, he should be able to claim.

  14. My husband is being deployed overseas and my mother who used to be my main source of daycare recently had heart surgery so I no longer have daycare option and paying for other day care is not an option as I cannot afford that and rent/food/bills. If I quit my job can I qualify for unemployment?

    1. Alma,

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

  15. I was recently “let go” from my job after 9 years without a specific reason given. The supervisor claimed he was tasked with letting me go and did not fully know the reasons, just that the owner had made the decision. Can I claim unemployment?

    1. Lauryn,

      You should be able to claim UI benefits if you were asked to leave due to involuntary reasons such as layoffs. Please consider applying if this is the case.

  16. My job is accusing me of writing false emails from families we have helped stating I was kind and professional and another employee was rude. They’ve scanned my wor lab top and of course found nothing. All this came about after I asked for a raise following my one year anniversary with them. I’ve been bullied and harassed since this was made public to my Co workers in hopes if quit. I have supporting documents showing a week before me asking for a raise I was being praised for my hard work. They’ve done this to 9 other employees within the last year. Can I get unemployment should they fire me?

    1. Melissa,

      Hope things get better for you soon. If you have the supporting documents handy (in case of a dispute), you can be eligible to claim UI benefits until you find employment.

  17. My employer lost a lease at the location I was working at. They offered me a job at another location, doing the same work, but the location is an hour away from my house where I am 20 minutes away at my current location. If I chose not to go, can I collect unemployment?

    1. Dan,

      It might be considered voluntary on your part. Please call the Unemployment Office to discuss before making a decision on your current employment.

  18. How is a ‘forced resignation’ handled? If the candidate has both letters, does that suffice as proof that it was forced?

    1. Andy,

      If you have enough proof that the resignation was “involuntary”, please consider applying for Unemployment Insurance.

  19. I’ve been in the military for 5 years and in February will be separating. I’ll be attending school full-time beginning March. I have 3 total dependents as well. Do I qualify for unemployment during this time frame?

    1. CJ,

      You eligibility varies from state to state. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to find out more.

  20. Can I get unemployment if I get laid off from a contract job in Colorado? The company I work for represents Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley informed them that they will not be going through them any longer and everyone that handles the morgan Stanley account will be laid off before the end of this year. Layoffs already started today, 7/1/18.

    1. Kim,

      Contract workers are generally not eligible since employers’ don’t remit unemployment taxes into the system. Please check with your actual employer if they do and apply accordingly.

  21. If I went out on LOA from my job because of an illness and has to move back to my home state to live with someone due to not be able to afford to pay my bills and when I was release to go back to work my job wants me to move back to the state I was working in within a week or I would be considered a no call no show and will be terminated. Even if I have already told them I would need at least a month to save the money to get back to be able to live in that state, would I be eligible for unemployment if they fired me for not being able to move back within a week?

    1. Shawn,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office.

  22. I was hired with a physical therapy office in Arkansas to work contract labor. I made $1500-2000 a month. They recently laid me off because they are in financial trouble. Can I file for unemployemnt here?


    1. Jana,

      If your employer paid Unemployment taxes into the system, you can claim. Please check with your employer or call the Unemployment Office.

  23. I just had seizures and cannot drive for several months at least. I am a sales person and drive to clients so I cannot work. I am temporarily unable to work at current job how do I go about filing as I see nothing that fits this and you need one year before you can get Disability from social security and I expect to be back at work in a few months.

    1. John,

      If you’re inquiring about claiming UI benefits, you may not qualify since its extended to claimants who’re able and available for work.

  24. My husband owned a company that he liquidated and laid off all the employees. Am I as his wife eligible for unemployment benefits, if I am willing to work? I worked for full time for 20 years there.

  25. I’m about to be laid off (through no fault of my own) from a part time job where I have averaged 28 hours per week for the last 12 months. Am I eligible to collect unemployment as it stands? Or am I completely ineligible due to it being part-time?

  26. I’d i cant afford daycare and my job won’t change my hours I work from 945-9 at night could I get unemployment if I quit

    1. Michael,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  27. In 8/2017 we were all accused of stealing money via e mail. Come to find out there was no money missing. 2/2018 I spoke with hr regarding passive/aggressive behavior from my direct supervisor. Nothing was done. 3/2018 I once again spoke with hr regarding the harassment ( passive aggressive behavior). Told hr in Feb and again in March how it was effecting me( was hoping to have an accident on my way to work so I wouldn’t have to go there). Had a meeting 2 weeks ago and was again falsely accused of over stepping my authority. After tying up loose ends I felt I had to leave the company as the treatment would never stop. Am I eligible for unemployment even though I quit?

    1. Terri,

      You can be. Please make sure to gather all required docs supporting your stance and call the Unemployment Office before applying.

  28. My employer gave me a reason for my termination that was ‘she is very complete in the relationship’. She gave the unemployment office the reason of I was ‘rude or offensive’ over an issue that she said she had no intent on firing me for. How does the enemploement office decide if her reason is valid? Is it expected that she must tell the employee the reason they have been fired honestly?

  29. I have been at my job for 3.5 years now. I am unable to return to work due to mental health instability (depression), but my psychologist is legally not allowed to fill out my Medical Leave of Absence form to say that since she is not a “physician”. My general physician says that she is not willing to fill out the paperwork to show that I cannot return to work, since I am “physically fit” to return, just not mentally. If my company says I need to come back to work or be fired, or if I quit, will I still be eligible for UI benefits since I have a medical condition that is preventing me from returning to that specific job?

    1. Z,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered. You may not qualify. Please call the Unemployment Office.

  30. I quit my job after receiving a firm offer for another position. After quitting I was informed that due to unforeseen circumstances the new employer could no longer hire me. Am I eligible to receive unemployment benefits?

    1. Robin,

      I am not sure if you can be eligible since you quit voluntarily. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  31. Question, I work for an insurance agency been doing this for eighteen years suddenly they hire a man who does not know anything about insurance and cut my hours from 40 hrs a week to 16hrs a week, told me about the changes on Friday to go into effect Monday, looking for another job but in the meantime my pay is cut significant and have to pay my bills and survive. I’m I able to collect unemployment?

    1. Cathy,

      It looks like your employer has cut hours. If yes, please consider applying for partial UI benefits until the hours are restored. You may call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  32. I am an employer and I have a question about terminating an employee. He has worked for me for less than six months. The first few months were great, did outstanding work. However, in the last couple of months things have changed. They are rude to all other employees, refusing to help or answer any of their questions about work projects. Claims to have no knowledge of skills which he demonstrated to have in the first few months. I ask him to do things and he gives me a blank look, ignores me and walks away. It is almost like he is trying to get fired. My question is, at what point is an employee show “willful disregard of the employer’s interests in such a way that demonstrates the employee’s guilt or wrongful intent”? Thanks in advance.

    1. Charles,

      I am not sure if we can answer your question appropriately. This website relates to Unemployment Insurance and related topics. I suggest you post this question on an HR forum online for appropriate advice.

  33. I am working in an indoor facility. We have what looks like “black mold” I have been experiencing the following slurring words,not being able to find word for what I wanted to say, blacking out, seeing spots and stuttering. My employer says myself and another employee are blowing this out of proportion and he wants us to clean the mold off the walls of facility. Do
    I have any recourse?

    1. Wende,

      If you’re experiencing harassment at workplace, you can be eligible to quit and apply for UI benefits. Before you do so, please call the Unemployment Office to confirm.

  34. I have a medical condition that makes miss work a lot. I don’t yet qualify for disability as I’m still able to work, if not with any consistency. Besides, I need the money. If I get fired for trading sick days, am I ineligible for unemployment?

    1. Alicia,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered. You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  35. My offer letter states I was being offered an Onsite Manager position. Then all the sudden I’m being kicked out of my position with no explanation or wrong doings. Only being offered a position that is in lower standing without notice and a change in schedule. Which isn’t what I signed up for with my offer letter. If I quit because I no longer trust the company I work for and I feel like they are extremely manipulitive and unethical will I be eligible for unemployment?

    1. Sarah,

      This is a catch 22 situation. You might be eligible. Please make sure to consult the Unemployment Office before making a decision. You can call the Claims Center for a detailed discussion.

  36. I bartend and worked for 9 years and my place is closing and they offered me a serving position at another location that will be a severe drop in pay. Am I eligible for unemployment or is that a “suitable”job replacement

    1. Mike,

      If you decide not to accept the offer, it may go against you. Please check with the Unemployment Office by calling them before making a decision.

  37. can i retire, get unemployment? i am 61 years old, considering retiring, looking for different work less demanding and not collect SSI till 65 years old

  38. My employer reduced my pay significantly. And I will need to find a better paying position elseware. If I quit to look for other work am I eligible for unemployment while I look?

    1. You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  39. One of the possible reasons for quitting is personal harrassment from the employer. Would this have to have been reported or proven?

    1. Christina,

      In case of a dispute from your employer at the time of claims processing, you will have to report with facts and paperwork.

  40. My manager approved a schedule change and have implemented the change for over 3 weeks now. I got the news on a Wednesday that corporate did not approve and is forcing a schedule change starting that Monday. They informed a shift lead that i may quit over but they will not fire me. What are my options?

    1. April,

      This is a tricky situation for you. If you quit voluntarily, you will not be eligible to claim UI benefits. Please work out a plan with your employer to remain employed.

  41. I am in a union and we are about to go on strike in Colorado. Can I get unemployment if there is a strike and I don’t cross the picket line?

    1. Jim,

      I am not sure if you can be eligible for voluntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office to ascertain eligibility.

    1. Caila,

      If the school hours does not affect your ability to seek full-time employment and accept a suitable offer, you can continue to be eligible.

      Please call the Claims Center for further details.

  42. If an employer files bankruptcy and all employees lose their jobs AND the a new company bought out the old bankrupt company, can an employee still file for unemployment because the work hours and job changed from the original employment?

    If an employee went to work for the company that bought out the old bankrupt company, and is not satisfied with the job/pay – is there a time limit in which they can still file unemployment against the bankrupt company?

    1. Misty,

      This question is subjective and best answered by the Unemployment Office authorities.

      Please call the Unemployment Office.

  43. I was laid off a long-standing job at Company A in May. They asked me to stay 2 weeks, until May 15. I started a new job with Company B on June 26, and it is not a good fit. If I resign, will I be eligible for unemployment?

    1. Kate,

      It may be considered as voluntary separation. Since its a very short stint with your latest employer, please call the Unemployment Office for further advice.

      1. If I put in a two week notice but shortly afterwards found out I wasnt moving and didn’t have to leave my job and I verbally communicated it with my bosses and we all agreed to keep me on the schedule and to continue working. Two months go by and I am still working there but my boss sends me a message telling me they dont need me anymore and to come fill out closing paperwork. Would I be eligible for unemployment benefits? And would paystubs or my w-2 be enough evidence if I had to show any proof of them allowing me to continue unemployment? I did give them a notice to quit my job but then realized I didn’t have to so we all agreed I’d be working there still so I assumed I was going to continue to have a job a lot longer than 2 months.

        1. Wendy,

          As long as the exit is involuntary (not your fault), you should be able to claim.

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