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 currently work in Afghanistan. I have been shot at, took incoming rockets and mortars, and am in the area of open pit burning. If I leave my job for health/ life threatening reasons am I eligible for unemployment ? Any answers will be greatly appreciated.. Thanks

    • You should be, since it is life threatening.

      Please inquire with the labor dept in your state as you’re working in a foreign country.

  2. I was employed full time until July 2013 when I quit then took a part time job that ended on December 1st. I am currently unemployed and looking for work in my field. Am I eligible to collect unemployment compensation?


  3. if i last worked january 2012 and filed a claim march of 2012 and haven’t ever recevied a payment because i was unaware how once i learned my status on my claim was exhuasted

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