Colorado Unemployment Eligibility
Colorado Unemployment Eligibility Calculator
Are you willing and able to work?
How did you lose your previous job?
Have you been affected by coronavirus?
Were you offered telework with pay by your employer?
Were you fired for no fault of your own?
Did you quit your last job due to unsafe working conditions, not being paid, discrimination and / or health and safety risks?
Do you have paid medical leave?
Do you have a family member you are caring for?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
Do you have paid family leave?
You May Be Eligible
You May Not Be Eligible
For residents of Colorado who have lost employment through no fault of their own, unemployment insurance benefits provide important financial assistance. If you want to apply for Colorado unemployment benefits, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the state’s eligibility requirements and how they relate to your specific situation. We’ve outlined here everything you need to know about eligibility for Colorado unemployment insurance benefits.
Financial eligibility requirements
To be found eligible for Colorado unemployment benefits, you must first meet the state’s financial eligibility requirements. For example, you must have earned at least $2500 during your base period, which is the timeframe used to make a decision regarding your claim. In Colorado, the standard base period is the first four of the last five complete calendar quarters before you submit your initial claim. A calendar quarter is a three-month consecutive period.
In some cases, if you didn’t earn at least $2500 during your base period, you may be allowed to use an alternate base period for your claim – this is defined as the four most recently completed calendar quarters.
If you are still employed, but working a reduced schedule of under 32 hours per week that earns you less than the weekly benefit amount that unemployment benefits would provide, you also may be considered eligible for Colorado UI benefits.
While you collect unemployment compensation, you may choose to work part-time. According to employment law in Colorado, you can continue to draw your full weekly benefit amount until you earn an amount equal to half that amount per week through your part-time work. At that point, the state will deduct one dollar from your weekly benefit amount for every dollar you earn through your part-time job.
Non-monetary eligibility requirements
In addition to Colorado’s financial eligibility requirements, successful applicants will meet additional criteria not related to earnings. These include, first and foremost, losing your job through no fault of your own. The reason you lost your job is the most important factor when it comes to whether your unemployment claim will be approved.
- 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 by visiting your local Workforce Center.
- Quitting job for a good cause
- Be willing to accept suitable work
- Fired from job for “just cause”
You also need to have worked for a Colorado employer who deducted income tax and other taxes from your wages and who reports your earnings on a W-2 tax form each year. Even if you are a Colorado resident, if your work took place in another state, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits in Colorado – instead, you’ll need to apply for unemployment benefits through the state in which you worked and where unemployment taxes were paid by your employer on your behalf.
In addition, you must be able, willing and available to accept appropriate work when it’s offered. That means you have no physical or mental health concerns that would prevent you from accepting a new job. And it means that you are in town, with appropriate transportation, child care, and other arrangements in place so that you can begin a new job immediately.
For each week you collect unemployment insurance benefits, you’ll be required to file a Colorado UI weekly claim that verifies you’re still eligible to collect your benefit payment. These claims also serve as a formal request for your weekly payment. You’ll need to provide documentation of your work search activities, which can include completing job applications, participating in any interviews you’re invited to, reaching out to potential employers, and attending appropriate training and job preparation at a Colorado Workforce Center.
The state recommends that you perform five work search activities each week as part of your Colorado unemployment work search requirements. Keep in mind that the state will verify the information you’re providing and reserves the right to audit your documentation for up to two years after the start date of your initial claim.
Colorado Unemployment Security Act
Passed in May of 2022, the Colorado Unemployment Security Act established Colorado’s commitment to ensuring that all workers in Colorado are made aware of the unemployment benefits available to them. To that end, the Act requires that all Colorado employers notify all separating employees that Colorado unemployment benefits may be a viable option.
In addition, employers must provide in writing all the information an employee needs to apply for benefits, which includes the following:
- Full name and mailing address of the employee
- Full name and mailing address of the employer
- The last four digits of the employee’s Social Security number
- The employee’s start date, the date of the employee’s last date of work, and year-to-date earnings and earnings for the last full week the employee worked
- The reason for the employee’s separation
Having this information provided at separation makes it that much easier for an unemployed worker to immediately apply for Colorado unemployment insurance benefits.
According to Colorado employment law, your reason for separating from employment is the most relevant factor in whether your Colorado unemployment benefits claim will be approved. You must be able to show either that you have lost employment through no fault of your own – for example, through a reduction in force, a layoff, or a downsizing effort.
“Fault” is generally recognized as control or choice on your part over the circumstances that led to your becoming unemployed. Many Colorado unemployment compensation claims are denied because the claimant is judged to have exercised choice over leaving their previous employment.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment will contact your previous employer to verify your reason for separation, and any objection to your claim by your former employer could cause a delay in your claim being approved – or even for your claim to be denied.
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:
- Repeated absences
- Harm or the willful disregard of the employer’s interests in such a way that demonstrates the employee’s guilt or wrongful intent,
- 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 abuse, discrimination, 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.
You can appeal if your claim is denied
If you apply for Colorado unemployment insurance benefits and your claim is denied, you may appeal the decision. This action entails submitting a Colorado unemployment appeal within 20 calendar days of the date on your notification letter. Submit your appeal online through MyUI+ by viewing your Notice of Determination – or you may use the form on the back of your physical Notice of Determination to write and submit your request for appeal. Include a clear explanation of what you disagree with and why.
Once your appeal request is received, you’ll be asked to participate in a hearing, and you’ll receive an updated determination following that hearing. This entire process may take anywhere from four to six weeks.
Have Questions? —-> Read Colorado UI Benefit Questions
Want to know about how much you will receive?? —–>Calculate your Colorado UI benefits here