Colorado Unemployment Extension

Colorado Unemployment Extension

For most unemployed claimants, Colorado unemployment benefits last about 26 weeks – although that number may be shorter depending on the unemployment claim and if new unemployment is secured. But in some rare instances and during unique situations, there may be a Colorado unemployment extension.

Colorado Unemployment State Extended Benefits (SEB)

When the unemployment rate in Colorado exceeds 5%, a federally funded program called State Extended Benefits kicks in, providing an additional 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits for those who have already met Colorado unemployment eligibility requirements.

SEB is automatically available for claimants who exhausted their maximum unemployment benefits. But once the unemployment rate falls back below 5%, SEB is no longer available, and cannot come back into play for at least 13 weeks, even if unemployment rates rise back above 5% again. To put some things in perspective, the Colorado unemployment rate dipped to 2.4% in April 2017, rose to almost 12% in May 2020, and has since fallen to about 3.4%.

The CARES Act, American Rescue Plan, and the Benefits they Created

The CARES Act & American Rescue Plan Act created additional unemployment benefits for individuals whose economic security was impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Federal unemployment benefits created as an additional benefit for additional weeks were administered through the labor department of the federal government in conjunction and partnership with individual states and their employment security departments, such as the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Americans experienced high unemployment during the pandemic, and federal funding helped provide lost wages assistance in addition to state benefits. Unemployed workers could access regular unemployment benefits, PUA benefits, or PEUC benefits as an extension after that.


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance was a federally created program that helped states pay unemployment compensation benefits to claimants who would not have otherwise qualified for regular unemployment benefits, such as self-employed individuals (like gig workers or contract workers) or claimants whose earnings during their base period would not have qualified them for UI benefits.

This CARES Act program provided up to 39 weeks of such benefits. The WBA (weekly benefit amount) of PUA was based on the applicant’s tax return and could range from a minimum payment of $223 to a maximum payment of $618. To put it in perspective, the current minimums and maximums of unemployment in Colorado for claimants who were on a payroll (e.g. not self-employed) are $25 and $742.

The Continuing Assistance Act extended PUA for 11 weeks, for a total of 50 weeks. The American Rescue Plan added 29 weeks to this total, bringing it up to 79 weeks of benefit payments until September 4th, 2021.


Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation was a federal CARES Act program that extended state unemployment benefits by 13 weeks for claimants who had exhausted their state’s maximum benefits already. The Continuing Assistance Act extended regular unemployment benefits another 11 weeks, and the American Rescue Plan extended these further by 29 weeks for a total of 53 weeks, ending September 4th, 2021.

PEUC essentially provided a week and one year of wages for claimants who did not need to engage in a work search because of the pandemic. However, in normal circumstances, claimants must engage in work search activity. Claimants qualified automatically for PEUC, as long as they continued to file their claims on time. They did not need to apply separately online or go in person to a Colorado unemployment office location.


Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation was established by the CARES act to supplement regular unemployment benefits or PUA with an additional $600 per claimant between March 29th, 2020 and July 31st, 2020. The Continuing Assistance Act continued these payments at $300 for 11 weeks between December 26th, 2020 and March 13th, 2021. The American Rescue Plan continued these bonus payments further until September 4th, 2021. No additional application was needed for PEUC when you would file your weekly claim, as the benefits would be paid out automatically in addition to your UI benefits or PUA.


Mixed Earnings Unemployment Compensation was a unique type of program for claimants who were both on W2 payroll and who worked independently as 1099 contractors. Those eligible for MEUC would receive an additional $100 on top of their regular unemployment benefits to compensate for the loss of self-employment income (e.g. gig work or side hustle) that had also been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

To qualify for MEUC, claimants had to submit documentation of earning $5,000 of self-employment earnings for the prior tax year – for instance, a 1099 issued by an app like Uber or a marketplace like Upwork. The American Rescue Plan extended MECU through September 6th, 2021.

Colorado Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Any time the President of the United States declares a natural disaster in the United States, there is a special type of unemployment assistance that kicks in to support locals who may have been negatively impacted by a flood, fire, hurricane, earthquake, or pandemic (to name a few potential conditions).

DUA has existed since the 1974 passage of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The program provides unemployment assistance to claimants who would not normally qualify for traditional, regular unemployment insurance. The Disaster Assistance Period (DAP) starts on the first day of the week following the date the disaster is declared to have begun and continues for as many as 26 weeks.

The maximum WBA varies by state, but the minimum is 50% of the average benefit amount in the state, and not necessarily the state minimum (which may be lower). When eligible, Colorado residents can file for DUA through the regular unemployment insurance benefits portal.

    • Adrienne,

      The details will be available on the Unemployment Office website. You should be able to apply there directly if you’re eligible.

  1. i need to call the unemployment office and talk to someone asap, i cant find the phone number on this site or what time to call them, what time they open in the morning could you please help ?

  2. Have EUC benefits expired in Colorado? If you are unable to find job in the 26 week time frame are you eligible for anything else at that point?

    • Lisa,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

    • Bill,

      Honestly, I don’t see any hope. Perhaps, you can check with the local Unemployment Office to inquire about the state sponsored extension.

  3. My current balance for Regular Unemployment benefits expire mid March, 2016. In Colorado, will and when should I request a Colorado Unemployment Extension for benefits?

    Thank you,
    John Harvey

    • Is there extensions for CORONAVIRUS I’ve been submitting requests do I need to re apply please let me know what I need to do I have no income please reply asap EXTENSIONS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS IVE EXHAUSTED MY CLAIM

      • Louis,

        We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly. Please read more about the situation here

        Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

    • There is no federal extension available.

      I suggest that you call the Unemployment Office to inquire about state-sponsored benefits.

  4. My claim status just turned exhausted but I still have 5 months remaining on my claim. Does this mean the 5 month time period doesn’t mean anything? If not is there an emergency extension I can get>?

  5. Are there still no unemployment benefit extensions? So once you’ve used your maximum payout amount and still don’t have a job you just don’t receive anymore help?

    • The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  6. My initial unemployment benefits just expired. My account balance is $0.00 as of September 18th. Needless to say it is difficult for a 64 year old to find full time employment. I was laid off back in March from EPC Energy Services. That company lost all their project work due to the downturn in the oil and gas industry.
    Would you send me the web link to file for extended unemployment benefits? I am signed up with Workforce and meet with my advisor monthly. I am also a Navy Veteran that was honorably discharged in June of 1974. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Dave McInnes

    • The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  7. I have been working for a very long time. Unfortunately I was a caretaker and the person I took care of passed away. I have been looking for work but it’s been extreamly difficult to find one. I recently ran out of the assistance and I wanted to ask you if you could be so kind to explain my options? I don’t know what to do so I would like to talk to someone who can advise me about anything that can help out my situation.. I really appreciate it and I hope to hear from you soon. Thank You
    Jason Hurst

    • Hi Martin,

      You mentioned to Jason that “please be aware there is no extension of benefits”. Does that mean there are no extensions on the first 6 months of benefits or do you mean there are no extensions past the the extensions that Colorado Unemployment mentions it offers on its site?

      • Hello John,

        The EUC (a federal unemployment extension) remains expired and there is no sign of renewing it. Some states can offer extension during high unemployment. You can call the Unemployment Office in Colorado for further details.

    • Jason,

      If you’re talking about Unemployment Benefits when you say “Assistance”, please be aware there is no extension of benefits. For further information, please call the Unemployment Office in your state.

  8. So I have a few more weeks left on my maximum payable benefits. I can’t get a strait answer anywhere on the internet if Coclorado offers any extended benefits, if so how many weeks and what is my next step when I get to that point?
    Thank you.

    • The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

    • The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  9. I had been recieving my benefits, and had been qualified for an extension that ended on Dec. 28 2013. I had a signifigant balance on my benefits that were denied me, until or if Congress approved extensions. I am currently homeless and disabled. I am working to get disability benefits. However, not recieving anything has made it difficult to follow up on changes made by Congress. If what I have read today, they have indeed extended our benefits.
    Please help me. What do I have to do to get my benefits back?!?

    • Please rev up your job searches since there is little available for you in terms of monetary compensation.

      Also check with the labor authorities in your state if there are any benefits remaining in your account.

  10. I lost my job in May that I had for less than a year. I received unemployment for that job. However, I worked for a non-profit company for eight years and was denied unemployment benefits because I stated that I left and took a job with health benefits. I did not go into all the other reasons such as being a salaried employee that worked as many as 12 to 14 hours a day with no overtime and working from home while ill or injured with no pay. I had a disabled daughter at home that I needed to be home in the evenings to take care of. I also needed healthcare which is now the law in our nation. How can I be penalized for leaving a job that did not provide health benefits? I was “fined” on my 2014 taxes because I didn’t not have health insurance. I am so confused about being denied unemployment for leaving a job that I worked so very hard for and taking a job that provided what the law required, health benefits.

    • Please consider filing an appeal for reconsideration.

      Details of the Adjudication process can be found on the department’s website.

  11. I am trying to file for unemployment, but it keeps saying i have exhausted my benefits. I have never collected unemployment before. Why is it telling me my benefits are exhausted?

    • Please call the customer service of the labor dept in your state immediately for an update. This may be system error or a fraud.

  12. Do I have to do the 5 steps again that I did to get tier 1 in Oder to get tier 2 going or can I just file new claim

  13. I have used my 24 weeks of unemployment . How do I get extension? It won’t come up online. can someone every time I call your phone is busy. I have spent 4 hours on the phone listing to busy signal. HELP!!!!!

    • The form will be mailed to you when your balance reaches zero. this is a public website – i deleted your personal information. You can call the unemployment office the week your balance goes to zero to initiate the extension.

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