Colorado Unemployment Weekly Claims
If you are unemployed in Colorado through no fault of your own, you can collect unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. There are some eligibility requirements you must meet in order to collect UI benefits, including making at least $2,500 in your base period prior to filing for unemployment benefits. You must also be able and willing to work. Another ongoing requirement for collecting Colorado unemployment insurance is that you file a weekly claim. Without filing that weekly claim on time, your benefits will either be denied or delayed.
What is a weekly claim?
Part of the ongoing requirements to qualify for Colorado unemployment benefits is to file a weekly claim. This involves making a request either on the phone or on the online system, starting no earlier than two Sundays from the date when you filed your initial claim. You will be asked to answer a few questions about whether or not you worked, and if you did, how much you earned in wages and tips, as this may change the benefit amount you receive.
You will also be asked to submit details about your ongoing job search. The work search is a requirement for collecting unemployment insurance in the state of Colorado. Although the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment does not have specific job search requirements, as some places around the United States do, you must indicate that you are making an honest attempt to find new employment security by conducting 5 such activities each week.
Applying for a job, going to an interview, and participating in workforce activity such as a job fair or resume seminar are all considered valid forms of conducting a work search. Within four weeks of your initial application, you must register at a local Workforce Center in person, or online at the ConnectingColorado website.
How to file a weekly claim in Colorado
Once you have submitted your Colorado unemployment application, you will need to file a weekly claim to collect your benefits. The easiest way to file your claim, if you have internet access, is to use the MyUI+ system. Alternatively, if you want to file your weekly claim on the phone you can call 303-813-2800 if you live in the Denver metro area, or 1-888-550-2800 in the rest of the state.
Once you have logged on to the MyUI+ portal, there is a navigation menu on the left side of the page, where you can click on Request Benefit Payment. Once you have opened that window, you can select the option to Start Weekly Certification for the week you are requesting benefits.
From that screen, you will be taken through a series of questions about any hours worked, earnings if any during that time, and whether or not you conducted job search activities. Note that self-employment is considered work. Answer all the questions honestly so that no disputes or accusations of unemployment fraud can impact your benefits or force the state of Colorado to request repayment of an overpayment.
Although the MyUI+ system is a more streamlined iteration of previous systems, there is currently no phone app in Colorado for requesting payment, so you will need to access it through a web browser.
The labor department provides you with two different ways to collect Colorado unemployment payments. When you file your Colorado unemployment weekly claim and request payment over the online system, you can choose to receive your unemployment compensation as a direct deposit right into your checking account with your bank or credit union.
Or, you can have your unemployment insurance benefit sent to a prepaid debit card.
If you call the toll free unemployment office filing system, the default method is having your possible benefits sent to the debit card. If you are having issues with the card (such as a lost or stolen card, or you forgot the PIN number), you will need to contact the U.S. Bancorp customer service number on the card, since they are the party that is actually responsible for managing the card – not the unemployment insurance program.
There is no option to collect your benefits in the form of a paper check.
What if I’ve exhausted my benefits?
An unemployed worker can collect up to 26 weeks of traditional unemployment benefits after they file their unemployment claim. After that point, they may be able to collect 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits from the labor department, but only if the state’s unemployment rate rises above 5%. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which is no longer available, was another program that extended benefits during the COVID pandemic. Even regular unemployment during the pandemic was extended and both programs were implemented by Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).
Incidentally, this inability to extend unemployment benefits is the reason behind the work search activity requirement. Colorado unemployment work search requirements are not just there to make sure a laid off worker stays busy. Rather, they are there to help make sure you won’t need to think about filing a new claim after 26 weeks. Applying for 5 jobs a week over that period would result in about 130 opportunities to find a new employer.
Colorado law also requires claimants to participate in employment services which can assist in bridging any gaps between a jobless worker and their employability through services like career coaching, resume building, and vocational training.
What if I don’t agree with the benefit amount?
Before you file for benefits, you should use the Colorado unemployment calculator to see the weekly benefit amount you are entitled to. Once you apply for benefits, you will get a Monetary Determination in the mail that states how much your weekly benefit amount will be.
If this amount differs from what the calculator tells you, you should file an appeal to secure your full amount. However, while waiting for that appeal to work its way through the process, you should continue to file your weekly claim. If your appeal has an outcome in your favor, you can be awarded back benefits.